A day to honor American veterans of all wars, dedicated to the cause of world peace.
On the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, World War I was officially declared over, but it wasn’t until 1919 that it was first observed as a legal holiday! Eventually, the day would come to be known as Veterans Day, but at the time, it was dubbed Armistice Day (armistice meaning truce).
Why was Armistice Day changed to Veterans Day?
World War II saw the greatest mobilization of armed services in history (over 16 million served), and the Korean War saw over 5 million men and women deployed. At the urging of the public and numerous veterans service organizations, the name was officially changed to “Veterans Day,” a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Veterans Day Wasn’t Always November 11th
In 1971, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed. The act stated that the observance of certain holidays are to be on Mondays (the idea was to give federal employees more three day weekends to encourage travel and activities that could stimulate the economy). So, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday of October. However, the date change wasn’t received very well by the public, so after a reconsideration of the significance of the day, it was moved back to its original date, effective November 11, 1978.
Veterans Day and Memorial Day: The Difference
Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans. Memorial Day is a day of remembrance for the men and women who gave their lives while in service.
Veterans Day Observed Around the World
On November 11, 1921, an unidentified American soldier killed in the war was buried at Arlington National Cemetery in Washington, D.C., and on the same day, unidentified soldiers were laid to rest at at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris and in Westminster Abbey in London.
Countries also commemorating the veterans of World Wars I and II on or around November 11:
- France, Belgium, Israel, Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November).
- Hong Kong holds a multi-faith service at the Cenotaph in Hong Kong.
- South Africa pays tribute on the nearest Saturday and Sunday to November 11th.
- Australia, Barbados, India, Kenya, Northern Ireland, Bermuda, Mauritius, observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.
- Canada has Remembrance Day (also called *Poppy Day).
*Red poppies became a symbol of World War I after appearing in the poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae.
A Very Big Thank You…
By 2016, the US Department of Veterans Affairs estimates that there will be 21.4 million military veterans living in the United States. That is a lot of hands to shake, and thank yous to give, so today, we wholeheartedly celebrate and thank all veterans for their honorable service.
Here at Hiring America, we are dedicated to helping veterans find jobs, and telling the stories of the companies who are actively recruiting and hiring veterans in the USA.
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