Sunday Nov. 11 is Veterans Day 2012. The date Nov. 11 has been known as Veterans Day in the U.S. since the 1950s.
It was first known as Armistice Day in the wake of the First World War, in which an estimated 10 million military personnel - including more than 100,000 Americans - and 7 million civilians died.
The date marked when the Germans signed documents to end hostilities on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first recognition of Armistice Day in the U.S. on Nov. 11, 1919. According to the U.S. Army Center of Military History, Wilson said in part:
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations."
Armistice Day became the day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II required the largest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in U.S. history, and after American forces fought in Korea, Congress amended the name to Veterans Day, according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs.
The Second World War is still considered the deadliest conflict in world history, with low estimates of 40 million deceased, including more than 400,000 American military deaths.
In 1954, Nov. 11 in the U.S. became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Later that year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation," which stated in part:
"In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose."
By some estimates, more than 1.3 million Americans have died in wars since the American Revolutionary War.
More than 58,000 U.S. military personnel died in the Vietnam War in the 1960s and 1970s.
Since 2001, more than 6,000 U.S. military men and women have died and more than 41,000 have been wounded in the "War on Terror," including the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan, according to the Department of Defense and the Defense Manpower Data Center.
Nov. 11 is still known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day in many other nations.
Monday Nov. 12 is a designated federal holiday and most schools, banks, government offices across the nation will be closed, including DMV offices near Palm Desert.