Interesting Facts About Veterans Day: Don’t Confuse It With Memorial Day

Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Veteran’s Day, November 11th of each year, is a federal holiday in the United States devoted to men and women who have served in the military, honoring their sacrifice and courage in face of conflict around the world. November 11th marks the day that the major combat in World War I ended.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson named November 11th Armistice Day. In 1938, November 11th became a legal holiday with the name Armistice Day. The first national holiday to celebrate Veterans Day was held in 1947. In 1954, Armistice Day legally became Veterans Day.
Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran from Alabama, came up with the idea in 1945 to honor all veterans on November 11th, not just the ones who had lost their lives in World War I. Raymond Weeks was given the Presidential Citizenship Medal from Ronald Reagan in 1982. Raymond Weeks led the celebration from 1947 until 1985 when he died.
Veterans Day is sometimes confused with Memorial Day, however Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military and Veterans Day honors all those who have served in the U.S. military, alive and deceased.
In this post, we will share with you 8 interesting facts you may not have known about the Veterans Day.
1. As a result of lobbying by veterans’ service organizations, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. President Eisenhower signed the legislation. The holiday became a day to honor all of America’s veterans.
2. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs features an interactive map that allows visitors to search for Veterans Day activities in their local areas. See if there is an event near you!
3. President Eisenhower established the Veterans Day National Committee. Consisting of leaders of veterans’ groups, the committee meets several times a year in Washington, D.C. and plans Veterans Day activities and events that honor U.S. veterans. The committee is also dedicated to Veterans Day education, ensuring that the younger generations understand the importance and significance of the day.
4. In 1921, on November 11th, an American soldier was buried at Arlington Cemetery. His identity was unknown and as such, his gravesite is called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On Veterans Day, a wreath is laid on the grave during a ceremony. The president or a high-ranking member of the government lays it.
5. There is not supposed to be an apostrophe in Veterans Day. Still, some spell it Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day. While the holiday is commonly printed as Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day in calendars and advertisements (spellings that are grammatically acceptable), the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.”
6. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
7. The official symbol of Veterans Day is the poppy. In 1918, a woman in Georgia named Moina Belle Michael read a John McCrae poem called “In Flanders Fields” and it inspired her to wear red poppies as a way of remembering. The poem includes the line, “In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses row on row.”
8. Because it is a federal holiday, some American workers and many students have Veterans Day off from work or school. When Veterans Day falls on a Saturday then either Saturday or the preceding Friday may be designated as the holiday, whereas if it falls on a Sunday it is typically observed on the following Monday. When it falls on weekend many private companies offer it as a floating holiday where employee can choose some other day. A Society for Human Resource Management poll in 2010 found that 21 percent of employers planned to observe the holiday in 2011.

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