Veterans Day Facts
Veterans Day Facts

25 Patriotic Veterans Day Facts

Madeline Thatcher
By Madeline Thatcher, Associate Writer
Published May 15, 2019
  • America, France, Great Britain, and Australia first celebrated Veterans Day on November 11, 1919, to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of World War I.[6]
  • Veterans Day was first known as Armistice Day; President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name in 1954 to honor all veterans, not just those who fought in World Wars I and II.[5]
  • The first Armistice Day celebrations included parades and public meetings, as well as a brief pause in business meetings at 11 a.m.[4]
  • On November 11, 1918, over a million Americans swarmed the streets of New York City to celebrate the end of the Great War. These festivities paved the way for annual celebrations in the coming years.[3]
  • While American cities celebrated Armistice Day annually, Congress made November 11 an official national holiday in 1938, with time off from work and school to honor soldiers for their sacrifices.[5]
  • From 1971 until 1975, Veterans Day observance was moved to the fourth Monday in October.[5]
  • President Ford Veterans Day
    President Ford made sure Veterans Day was celebrated on November 11
  • President Gerald Ford moved observance back to November 11 in order to commemorate the important historical significance of that date.[5]
  • Great Britain, France, Australia, and Canada also observe a holiday similar to Veterans Day.[5]
  • Great Britain, Australia, and Canada call their veterans-focused holiday "Remembrance Day."[1]
  • In Great Britain and other British commonwealth nations, two minutes of silence are observed at 11 a.m. on November 11.[5]
  • Veterans Day, known as Armistice Day in Great Britain, is also called "Poppy Day," since the poppy flowers were used as symbols for the holiday.[1]
  • While WWI officially ended on June 28, 1919, fighting stopped at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918.[2]
  • The change from Armistice Day to Veterans Day also marked a shift in celebrating veterans of all wars, not just WWI.[4]
  • Armistice Day Veterans Day
    Celebrations moved out into the street to celebrate the end of WWI
  • Armistice Day celebrations tapered off after WWII due to the horrors of war America had experienced. The holiday became popular again in the 1950s.[3]
  • When Veterans Day became a national holiday, it was a day devoted to “the cause of world peace.”[4]
  • Veterans Day was founded in Emporia, Kansas. It was the first city to celebrate all veterans of all wars, which became common practice in the rest of the country after their example.[1]
  • The short-lived Veterans Day move from November 11 to the fourth Monday in October was done in part to encourage recreation and travel over a long weekend; many communities did not like the change and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date of observance.[4]
  • The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a memorial constructed in celebration of veterans' service, was built in 1921.[3]
  • America's Veterans have served their country with the belief that democracy and freedom are ideals to be upheld around the world.

    - John Doolittle

  • Federal government buildings are often closed on Veterans Day.[4]
  • While Memorial Day commemorates those who have died in military service, Veterans Day celebrates military personnel more broadly, both the living and dead, and includes veterans of all American military conflicts.[4]
  • At 11 a.m. every Veterans Day, a cohort of military members from all branches gather to pay tribute to veterans at the the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.[6]
  • Veterans Day Holiday
    Veterans from all wars, living or dead, are honored for their service on Veterans Day
  • The President of the United States, or their representative, lays a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns every Veterans Day.[6]
  • Taps, a tune played at military funerals, is played at the wreath-laying ceremony.[6]
  • If Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, the holiday is observed on Friday. If the holiday falls on a Sunday, the following Monday is set aside for celebrations.[6]
  • Flags are often flown at half-mast on Veterans Day.[6]
  • Life and Liberty: Veterans Day Facts INFOGRAPHIC
    Veterans Day Facts Infographic

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