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Song of the Day for November 11: "Some Gave All" by Billy Ray Cyrus

Veterans Day
Julia Carpenter, 11, sits at her grandmother's grave, World War II United States Marine Corp veteran Mary Winston, at the National Cemetery in Bourne, Mass., Friday afternoon, Nov. 11, 2011. (AP Photo/Stephan Savoia)

Veterans Day didn’t start out honoring all veterans. It began as Armistice Day, which first was celebrated on Nov. 11, 1919, one year after the fighting in World War I ceased. The name changed in 1954, when the holiday honored veterans of all wars.

It wasn’t until 1978 that Veterans Day would be held every year on November 11, according to the Department of Defense website. In 1968, Congress moved the holiday to the closest Monday so everyone could celebrate a three-day weekend, but the idea bombed, and it was moved back to November 11 no matter what day it fell on.

The United States isn’t the only country that celebrates a form of Veterans Day. Canada and Australia celebrate Remembrance Day on November 11. England celebrates Remembrance Day but does it on the closest Sunday to November 11.

The songs celebrating veterans are plentiful. Billy Ray Cyrus and his first wife Cindy wrote the Song of the Day,“Some Gave All,” in May 1992 after speaking with a Vietnam vet, according to the website boot.com. The song never was released as a single. It became the title track of his debut album, but it was another song on the album that got all the attention, “Achy Breaky Heart.” The album sold 10 million copies and stayed at number one for 18 weeks.

Song of the Day is a production of Sheldon Zoldan and WGCU.