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10 Things You Didn’t Know About Veterans Day USA

10 Things You Didn’t Know About Veterans Day USA

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Observed on Nov. 11 every year, Veterans Day honors those who have served in the U.S. armed forces over the centuries. Here are 10 things you didn’t know about Veterans Day, celebrated this year for the 95th year.

Sources: Time & Date.com, History.com 

www.en.wikipedia.org
www.en.wikipedia.org

1. The Eleventh Hour

Veterans Day is celebrated on the armistice between Germany and the Allied nations that ended World War I. This happened on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

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www.flickr.com

2. First celebrated 95 years ago

This is the 95th Veterans Day. It was celebrated for the first time on Nov. 11, 1919, when it was known as Armistice Day. It was marked with parades, public meetings and a two-minute suspension of business activities at 11 a.m.

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www.flickr.com

3. President Wilson’s proclamation

After World War I ended President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 Armistice Day, a day that was meant to be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory”.

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www.flickr.com

4. Recognized by Congress

Although it was first celebrated in 1919, it wasn’t until 1926 that Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared its armistice anniversary be commemorated with prayer and thanks to those who had served. On May 13, 1938, Congress approved an act that made Nov. 11 a legal holiday each year.

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www.flickr.com

5. Name change in 1954 broadened the scope

Following lobbying by veterans service organizations in 1954 to change the word “armistice” to “veterans” Congress approved a name change for the holiday on June 1, 1954. After this change was made, Veterans Day became a day to honor all Americans who had served in the armed forces, regardless of the war.

www.commons.wikimedia.org
www.commons.wikimedia.org

6. Tomb of the unknown soldier

At 11 a.m. every Veterans Day a color guard ceremony is held representing all branches of the military at the tomb of the unknown soldier at Arlington National Ceremony. Two minutes of silence are observed.

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www.commons.wikimedia.org

7. Briefly celebrated in October

In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill attempted to change Veterans Day from Nov. 11 to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971, but caused so much confusion that President Gerald R. Ford signed a law in 1975 stating Veterans Day would again be observed on Nov. 11. Veterans Day returned in 1978 to the original Nov. 11 armistice date and has remained there ever since.

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www.commons.wikimedia.org

8. Often confused with…

According the the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day is often confused with Memorial Day, which is celebrated the fourth Monday in May. Here’s the difference: Memorial Day honors American service members who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred in battle, while Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans, living or dead.

www.commons.wikimedia.org
www.commons.wikimedia.org

9. Federal holiday

Flags are flown at half mast in honor of veterans, and the federal government is closed on Veterans Day. It is up to local governments whether courts and schools are closed.

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www.commons.wikimedia.org

10. How it is celebrated

Observed in honor of all U.S. military personnel, Veterans Day celebrations vary from town to town and city to city. Especially in towns with significant military populations, the day is usually marked with parades and church services on weekend that falls closest to the holiday itself. Many restaurants also offer discounts and freebies. Outback Steakhouse, for example, offers a free bloomin on Nov. 11 to active duty military.