In the United States, Veterans day is observed annually on November 11th in the honor of the members who served in the armed forces. It is celebrated by Americans as a respect to the bravery, valor and sacrifice of all the members who served in the army and did everything they had to protect the soil of their nation from any internal or external threats. Veterans day is confused by many Americans with Memorial day yet it is very distinct from it which is celebrated in May. The difference between these two holidays is that Veterans day is celebrated to honor the service of all the American military veterans, whereas Memorial day is celebrated to honor those who have lost their lives in the line of duty while in military service.
History of Veterans Day
Armistice Day, which is now known as Veterans day was made a federal public holiday to honor the end of world war 1. The war was officially ended on November 11th, 1918 and therefore was made a public holiday. If we look at the history of the US, the legislation of 1938 was passed which announced 11th November to be a federal public holiday in honor of the world war 1 veterans and to exhibit a sign of world peace from hereafter.
In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on Oct. 25, 1971.
In 1954, following World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress – amending the Act of 1938, removed the word “Armistice” and added the term Veterans. With the adoption of this law on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Veterans Day Holiday
Veterans day is celebrated on 11th November and if it falls on a non-working day for instance Saturday or Sunday, then the US federal government is allowed to observe the holiday on Friday if Veterans day falls on Saturday and if it falls on Sunday then it is to be celebrated on the following Monday.
The United States Senate Resolution 143, adopted on August 4, 2001, designated November 11, 2001 as “National Veterans Awareness Week” until November 17, 2001. The resolution asks for educational efforts focused towards student’s acknowledging the services of the brave men and women for their country. The contribution made by students recognizing this day can be through writings, plays and various other activities.
Veterans Day Today
The military men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers, and are an important part of their communities. If we look at some facts relating to the veteran population of the United States, around 18.2 million living veterans served during at least one war as of 2018. Proudly to say that not only men fought for their country and defended the soil but around 9% percent of veterans are women and have proudly and bravely served for their country. The Vietnam War, a crucial event in the USA history accounts for 7 million brave veterans who have served during this War. Around 3 million veterans have served in support of the War on Terrorism. World war 2 which ended in 1945 had 16 million Americans who served in it. Till now as of 2020 about 450,000 veterans are still alive with us. If look at another fact, Connecticut was home to the highest percentage of World War II veterans as of 2018 at 7.1 percent. 2 million veterans served during the Korean War. As of 2017, the top three states with the highest percentage of Veterans were Alaska, Maine and Montana, respectively.
Communities across the country pull out all the stops to honor their veterans through a variety of programs and events. With world events impacting the ability to gather in person, many parades or events have been canceled or modified to a virtual format for 2020. You can check with your local government to find out how and where you can celebrate Veterans Day in 2020.