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Veterans Day – Celebrating America’s Heroes

The origination, history, and current events of a very important day.

By:  |  November 11, 2023  |    567 Words
GettyImages-1440833658 Veterans Day

(Photo by Leonardo Munoz/VIEWpress)

Every November 11, the US gives a day to the courageous men and women who sacrifice their safety and time with their families to protect and defend our country. Beginning November 11, 1919, Armistice Day, as it was originally dubbed, was celebrated as the one-year anniversary of the conclusion of World War I, which ended on the 11th day on the 11th hour of the 11th month. The day was meant to remember and honor those who fought in the violent battle.  Now referred to as Veterans Day, the celebration remains a time to pay tribute to those, dead or alive, who have served in the United States military.

From Armistice Day to Veterans Day

Originally, Armistice Day celebrated just those who fought in World War I. Realizing the importance of the work completed by our nation’s soldiers, Congress passed a resolution in 1926 that established November 11 as a national holiday to be celebrated every year. Beginning in 1938, the date mentioned above was set aside as a nationally recognized holiday. In 1954, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to include all US military veterans.

The Date Change

GettyImages-1244704203 Veterans Day

(Photo by Ty O’Neil/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images)

Following the Uniform Holidays Bill passed by Congress in 1968, Veterans Day was changed from November 11 to the fourth Monday in October. The conversion took effect in October of 1971 and stayed that way for several years until President Gerald Ford modified it once again. President Ford felt there was so much historical significance in its original date that he officially changed it back to November 11 in 1975.

2023 Veterans Day Celebrations

It is easy to find a place to honor US veterans. Celebrations such as parades, dinners, tributes, and concerts will be held nationwide to honor the brave servicemen and women.

Birmingham, Alabama, will hold its 76th annual National Veterans Day parade. A two-hour ceremony will occur at the State Veterans Home in North Little Rock, Arkansas. If you are looking for someplace to celebrate in Tampa, Florida, there is a Heroes and Headliners concert that features Chris Stapleton, H.E.R., and Imagine Dragons. Washington, DC, will hold its 70th annual National Veterans Day Observance at Arlington National Cemetery, where a wreath will be laid at the Tomb of the Unknowns, but the ceremony is limited to only official participants.

Finding a way to celebrate veterans this Saturday, November 11, will not be difficult, no matter where you live, as every state has some form of celebratory plan. Additionally, many of the celebrations will be aired on various live-streaming sites, so even those at home can participate in honoring our military.

Did You Know?

  • Though not recognized as a national holiday, Women’s Veterans Day is held on June 12. The day marks the anniversary of the Women’s Armed Services Integration Act, signed into law by Harry S. Truman on June 12, 1948.
  • The Veterans Day National Committee meets three times a year and has since 1954 to plan the events for the Washington, DC, Veterans Day celebration.
  • Because the holiday does not “belong” to veterans, there is no need for an apostrophe in its name. It’s “Veterans Day” because it’s a day to honor veterans.
  • The Arlington National Cemetery is a 624-acre area that holds over 400,000 military personnel and their families.
  • March 13 is National K9 Veterans Day, a day to honor our four-legged military members.
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