We celebrate Veterans Day this week as well as the 100-year anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. In fact, that agreement called for a ceasefire between the Allies and Germany at 11:11 am on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.
That armistice not only ended a war, but also started an annual commemoration of our veterans.
Veterans Day was originally known and referred to as Armistice Day, and was first observed on November 11, 1919. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance, and November 11 became a national holiday in 1938. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
If November 11 falls on a weekend day (like this year), the federal government observes the holiday on the Friday before (if it falls of a Saturday), or on the Monday after (if it falls on a Sunday).
Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all veterans, living and dead, and gives a special thanks to living veterans who bravely served their country in war and in peace.
The U.S. is not alone in honoring their veterans. Canada, Great Britain, France and Australia all commemorate their veterans near November 11. What’s more, in Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries, it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11:00 am every November 11.
While I thank all the veterans – past and current military personnel – this day has special meaning for me as the mother of a veteran. And, I know I am not alone.
According to the History Channel, here are a few stats about the veteran population of the United States:
If you are looking for a way to say “thank you” to the veterans of this country, you might want to consider making a donation to The Wounded Warrior Project, which has countless ways of supporting our veterans, or to Helping Paws for their efforts in training service dogs to work with veterans dealing with PTSD.
To all the veterans out there: thank you for your service!