You already know why Veterans Day is important. You are the service members, veterans, or family and friends of veterans who stay up-to-date on military news, pay, benefits, fitness, and veteran jobs.
Veterans Day is a moment for us to pay our respects to those who have served. For one day, we stand united in appreciation for you, our veterans.
This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who perished in our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.
However, in 1954, the celebration was altered to “Veterans Day” to accommodate all veterans of all wars.
We celebrate and respect America’s soldiers for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
What do you need to know about honoring Veterans Day? Here’s some more information.
Is Veterans Day on the same day every year?
When first observed as Armistice Day, the day honored the conclusion of World War I, legally recognized on the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918.
Today we continue to honor the day as Veterans Day, still remembering the original tie on November 11. That means Veterans Day occurs on the same day every year — November 11 — regardless of whatever day of the week it falls.
When the date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, government officials or companies may acknowledge it on both the official day and the following Monday.
Is Veterans Day a federal holiday?
Veterans Day is a federal holiday, a bank holiday, and, in most jurisdictions, a state holiday. That means that federal employees, including military members, are routinely given the day off and, in most states, state workers are as well.
Whether Veterans Day is taken as a working holiday by firms is a business decision. Many firms choose to take off either Veterans Day or Columbus Day, which falls in October, but not both.
Do schools close on Veterans Day?
Many schools do close on Veterans Day, but whether they do so is often not a one-size-fits-all choice.
Public school holidays are regulated by the local school board, while private school holidays are set by private officials. State and private school college holidays are set much the same way. Check with your local school to confirm their calendar.
5 Things You Don’t Know About Veterans Day
- It’s “Veterans Day,” not “Veteran’s Day.” It could appear like just a foolish grammar choice — but it’s not. The Department of Veterans Affairs noted that Veterans Day is a day for remembering the veterans with us right now. “Veteran’s Day” with an apostrophe would instead be a day that belongs to veterans.
- Veterans Day was previously commemorated on the fourth Monday of October instead of November 11. In the late 1960s, Congress passed a measure meant to promote the economy by adding more three-day weekends. They hoped it would help encourage tourism and other hobbies. The “Uniform Monday Holiday Act” made Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day all Mondays.
But many states disagreed with the option, especially since Veterans Day was established as November 11 – 11th month, 11th day, 11th hour – for historic reasons. So in Sept. 1975, President Gerald Ford signed a measure returning Veterans Day to Nov. 11 starting in 1978.
- Armistice Day was recast as Veterans Day in 1954. Today we recognize the day as “Veterans Day,” but until 1954 it was known as Armistice Day, formally recognizing the armistice agreement that ended WWI on Nov. 11, 1918. Even though WWI was hopefully labeled “the war to end all wars,” it was anything but. By 1954 Americans had served in both WWII and the Korean War. Armistice Day was converted to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954.
- Marines commemorate their service birthday and Veterans Day with a 96-hour liberty. Veterans Day occurs just one day after the Marine Corp’s birthday on Nov. 10. Typically honored with a ball and cake-cutting ceremony, Marines traditionally are granted a 96-hour leisure to observe both holidays simultaneously – and recoup from their service birthday festivities.
- A group once lobbied to rebrand Armistice Day as “Mayflower Day.” When “the war to end all wars” failed to accomplish so, a tiny group of Americans led by Francis Carr Stifler of the American Bible Society advocated Armistice Day be replaced with Mayflower Day. That group argued the signing of the Mayflower Compact took place on Nov. 11, 1620, and was more appropriate to honor, since the Mayflower Compact was the cornerstone upon which the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights stood. The idea gained little traction.
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