Veterans Day in the United States

November 11, 2017

Veterans Day is celebrated throughout all the United States of America on the 11th of November annually. It was first celebrated on the 11th of November in 1919 to honor the veterans who participated in World War I and now it is celebrated to pay respects to military personnel and veterans who have served America in all wars.

Observance

Veterans Day is needed to say thank you to all living veterans who have sacrificed their efforts, time and wellbeing for the welfare of their country. Actually, it is the main difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day – the latter is celebrated to honor the fallen warriors, while the former is aimed at honoring the living military personnel. Veterans Day is celebrated with parades, thanksgivings, church services and speeches. On this day many people hung American flag at half-mast. Interesting fact is that World War I ended on the 11th day of the 11th month at 11 am and after many decades two minutes of silence are held at the exact same time – at 11 am. But now it is dedicated to honor all soldiers and not just those who participated in World War I.

There are schools which decide to be closed on Veterans Day and there are also schools which decide to remain opened and choose to celebrate this day with special activities. If Veterans Day falls on Saturday than government offices are closed on Friday and if it falls on Sunday, they are closed on Monday. Non-governmental businesses don’t need to close on that day and it’s up to them whether they decide to stay opened or closed. On Veterans Day public transit systems can follow holiday schedule or regular schedule.

Soldier

History

As we have already mentioned Veterans Day was first dedicated to honoring those who participated in World War I. Back then this holiday was called the Armistice Day and it was first celebrated on the 11th of November in 1919. There were public meetings, parades and brief holdup of business activity during the first celebration of Armistice Day. In 1926, the United States’ Congress declared that each anniversary of the Armistice Day should be celebrated with thanksgiving and prayer. However, it was made a legal holiday only in 1938, following the new act issued by the United States Congress. Situation changed after the World War II, which required the largest mobilization of military men in the history of America. In order to celebrate all veterans who fought for freedom and not only those who participated in the World War I, the name of the holiday was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954. 

In 1968 there was an attempt to move the Veterans Day to the 4th Monday of October, but it failed because many states denied following the new regulations. Due to the confusion, the government of the United States decided to move the Veterans Day to the 11th of November in 1978. From that day and until today it is celebrated on the 11th of November in all states. 

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