"Word didn't travel as fast in those days," Whitney said, referring to the time when telegram was regarded as a swift means of communication.

The history of Veterans Day spans a century, dating back to the end of World War I.

Master Sergeant Tanya Whitney of the U.S. Army shared details of the holiday and how it has evolved over 100 years.

Speaking at the Ascension Parish Library in Donaldsonville on Thursday evening, Whitney said last year's Veterans Day marked a century since Armistice Day.

At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the Great War ended. The armistice ceased fighting by land, sea, and air between the Allies and Germany. It was prolonged three times before peace was ratified.

"Word didn't travel as fast in those days," Whitney said, referring to the time when telegram was regarded as a swift means of communication.

The first Armistice Day was November 11, 1919, and was a somber remembrance which included a two-minute silence to pay respect to those who died in the war.

Whitney also spoke about the importance of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, an Arlington National Cemetery monument.

In 1921, thousands of people went to pay their respects.

"People didn't move around like they do today," she said. "The fact that 90,000 people came through the Capital Rotunda to pay their respects to an unknown soldier is amazing."

In 1926, the military guard to protect the tomb was established.

The Sentinels of the Tomb stand watch 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, in any weather. Sentinels volunteer for the duty, and are considered the elite of the elite.

"I was stationed in the Washington D.C. area, and it's amazing to experience it in person," Whitney added.

Also in 1926, Congress passed a resolution that the recurring anniversary be commemorated.

A Congressional Act, on May 13, 1938, set the date as a federal holiday.

After the Korean War, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day.

By 1975, President Gerald Ford's signature kept November 11 as the date regardless of the day it fell.

With several veterans in attendance, Whitney paused during her presentation and asked to take a moment to pay respects to those lost.

Lawrence Landry played Taps as the crowd stood silent, and veterans saluted.

Whitney said there are some 21 million veterans in the United States, representing about eight percent of the population.

"I say thank you for your service," Whitney said. "It's what prompted me to join and serve."

Having traveled to many countries, Whitney concluded in saying that despite the troubles and issues the nation faces, there is no other country like the United States.