On November 11, 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. This day was largely considered to be the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. It became a federal holiday in the United States in 1938.
And then World War II and the Korean War happened. In 1954, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress amended the commemoration by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so that the day would honor American veterans of all wars.
Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices. Memorial Day, which we celebrate in May, is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle.
In honor of our veterans, I've pulled together a list of titles which I hope will serve as a starting point for anyone wanting to better understand the circumstances our men and women found themselves in. My list begins with WWI and ends with the Afghanistan and Iraqi Wars. I've included titles which offer general overviews of the conflicts involved, as well as personal narratives. This is just a glimpse into our collection -- there is much, much more available. Our Genealogy Center offers a wealth of free information available online via Our Military Heritage
The subject headings are quick links to our catalog, with a focus on adult nonfiction books. See a title you're interested in? Click on the book cover to check availability. And please feel free to share your personal recommendations in the comments below.
World War I (1914-1918)
World War II (1939-1945)
Korean War (1950-1953)
Vietnam War (1955-1975)
Persian Gulf War (1990-1991)
Afghanistan & Iraqi Wars (2001- )
Quick Links for more information about Veterans Day:
From the US Department of Defense website:
5 Facts to Know about Veterans Day
From History.com: Veterans Day
Becky likes to read … A LOT. When she’s not reading, she likes to pretend that she can garden. Her favorite books are The Spellman Files
by Lisa Lutz and The Invisible Library
by Genevieve Cogman..