WASHINGTON (WUSA9) - What is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day is observed each year on November 11.
It honors those – living and dead - that have served in the U.S Armed Forces. Veterans are men and women who served in any of the 5 branches of the United States Military during either war or peacetime. Veterans Day is sometimes confused with Memorial Day, which is to honor those who lost their lives while serving in the military.
Here are some other interesting facts about Veteran’s Day:
- Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day. It began on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.
- World War I officially ended in 1918, at the eleventh hour, on the 11th day, of the 11th month.
- November 11 became a national day of remembrance and holiday in 1938.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954.
- From 1971-1977, Veterans day was celebrated in October. It was changed back in 1978 thanks to General R. Ford signing Public Law 94-97.
- There are approximately 21 million living veterans in the United States. That represents around 6.5 percent of the U.S. population.
- Here’s how the numbers breakdown, according to The History Channel:
- 16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
- 2 million veterans are women.
- Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.
- 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
- 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
- 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
The annual ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier is held at 11:00 a.m., on the eleventh day of the 11th month.
Businesses are offering freebies and special discounts on Veterans Day to show their appreciation for those who have sacrificed for their country.
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