Why Veterans Day Is Celebrated On November 11 And More

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Veterans Day is celebrated annually on November 11 in honor of all US military personnel (Credit: militarybenefits.info)

Celebrated annually on November 11, Veterans Day gives Americans an opportunity to show their appreciation for some real-life superheroes — the brave men and women of the United States Armed Forces, who risked their lives to protect the nation's freedom. This includes all those who have served in the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, National Guard, Air Force, and the Coast Guard.

There is often confusion between Veterans Day and Memorial Day, which is celebrated on the last Monday of May. While both honor the American military, they serve different purposes. Memorial Day commemorates US soldiers who have died or sustained a wound in a war. Veterans Day, meanwhile, pays tribute to all American soldiers — both living and dead. The holiday's primary purpose, however, is to thank living veterans for their service and sacrifices.

The news of the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany on November 11, 1918, was quickly conveyed worldwide (Credit: Archives New Zealand / CC-BY-SA 2.0 / Wikimedia Commons)

Armistice Day, as it was originally called, was started by US President Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1919, to commemorate World War I soldiers. The day marked the first anniversary of the armistice, or formal agreement, between the Allied Nations and Germany to cease all military operations at precisely 11:00 am on November 11, 1918. The accord eventually led to the Treaty of Versailles, which ended the "Great War" on June 28, 1919. Armistice Day was declared a federal holiday in 1938 and renamed Veterans Day in 1954 to include the soldiers that fought in World War II (1939 -1945) and the Korean War (1950 -1953).

For the next thirty years, Veterans Day continued to be observed on November 11. However, that changed in 1968 with the Uniform Holiday Bill. Enacted by US officials to enable Americans to enjoy a three-day weekend, it altered the dates of four federal holidays — Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day — to Mondays. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October.

However, given the date's significance, many states were unhappy with the change and continued commemorating the holiday on November 11. On September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford ended the confusion with a new bill reverting the celebration to its previous date. The law went into effect in 1978, and since then, Veterans Day has always been observed on November 11, regardless of the day it falls on.

Members of Coast Guard Sector New York march down 5th Ave. during the Veterans Day Parade in Manhattan on Nov. 11, 2009 (Credit: Petty Officer 2nd Class Annie Elis,/Public domain,/ Wikimedia Commons)

Most Americans celebrate the holiday by participating in their city or town's Veterans Day Parade. While COVID-19 restrictions have caused many events to be canceled this year, there are other ways to show your appreciation for the soldiers. You can deliver food and supplies to the closest veteran center or perhaps even write personalized thank you cards to each of the residents.

The US is not the only country that honors its soldiers on November 11. In the United Kingdom, Remembrance Day pays tribute to soldiers who have died in any war. While the main celebration is on the second Sunday in November, a two-minute silence is observed at 11 am at war memorials, religious services, and shopping centers throughout the country on November 11. Canada's Remembrance Day, or Poppy Day, and France and New Zealand's Armistice Day, all observed on November 11, also honor those who lost their lives in armed conflicts, in and since World War I.

Thank You For Your Service And Sacrifices, Veterans

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182 Comments
  • deafgirlhistory
    That`s is so cool! I grew up in military family, my dad was soldier for nearly 30 years but retired when I`m only about in 4th grade! My mom was soldier for nearly 2 years, and my ancestors all was soldiers too! Thank you Mom, Dad, Veterans, and Soldiers for protecting American from harm! and @ktrinidad, my great-grandpa was soldier in Korean War and WW2! That is so awesome!!!!
    • ktrinidad
      ktrinidad11 months
      my grandfather was in the army and he fought in the Korean War
      • pandor
        pandorover 1 year
        WOW
        • cable
          cableover 1 year
          awesome story
          • cable
            cableover 1 year
            i can tell this will be a cool story
            • alexander2012
              alexander2012over 1 year
              i like this
              • pinkkitty9
                pinkkitty9over 1 year
                Thank You Veterans for keeping our country safe and protected by any rivals. HAPPY VETERANS DAY!🇺🇸🇺🇸
                • prettygurll
                  prettygurllalmost 2 years
                  Thank you so much veterans! We love you! Honoring all who served.
                  • bossira1632
                    bossira1632almost 2 years
                    My family is a veteran besides my mom dad or grandma
                    • pastelea
                      pasteleaalmost 2 years
                      Tysm veterans you risked your life for people you don't even know!