A Look At Some Veterans Day Facts That Might Surprise You

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Veterans Day is observed every November 11, regardless of the day of the week that it falls on. This year Veterans Day falls on a Sunday. The Veterans Day National Ceremony will be held on the 11th, but some communities hold parades on surrounding days.


Why Veterans Day Is Always Celebrated On November 11

World War I ended on the 11th month on the 11th day on the 11th hour. Veterans Day began back in 1919 as Armistice Day, which marked the date that Germany and its allies signed the agreement to cease the hostilities of World War 1. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as Armistice Day. 

Armistice Day, however, did not become a legal holiday until 1938 when an act of Congress made it an official holiday.


When Did Armistice Day Become Veterans Day?

After World War II ended a sentiment grew to create just one day of observance for all veterans. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a law that legally changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day.

There Was A Brief Period Veterans Day Wasn’t Celebrated On The 11th

There was a short period when Veterans Day was not observed on November 11th. From 1971 until 1977, after an amendment to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday in October. Throughout that period there was an outcry against moving the date, and in 1975, President Ford signed a bill that returned it observance back to November 11th.

Do Other Countries Celebrate Veterans Day?

Several English speaking countries honor veterans on November 11th, however, their celebrations aren’t called Veterans Day. In Canada and Australia, it is known as Remembrance Day. The United Kingdom celebrates on the Sunday closest to the 11th and calls the day Remembrance Sunday. In Canada, Australia, and the United Kingdom the celebration is a lot like our Memorial Day as they honor the nation’s dead and surviving veterans.

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Why Veterans Day Doesn’t Have An Apostrophe

The Veterans Association states that the name does not have an apostrophe because it is not a day that belongs to veterans, but instead is a day to honor all veterans.

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Why Are Poppies A Symbol Of Veterans

The remembrance poppy was inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae. Its opening lines refer to the many poppies that were the first flowers to grow in the churned-up earth of soldiers’ graves in Flanders, a region of Belgium.

Did You Know There Is a Certain Way To Wear The Poppy

You should wear your poppy on the right side. The red represents the blood of all the veterans who lost their lives, the black represents the mourning of the loved ones whose soldier did not return home, and the green leaf represents the grass and crops growing and future prosperity after the war destroyed so much. The poppies leaf should be pointed at 11 o’clock representing the 11th hour, 11th day and 11th month.


Veterans Day Events

Every year on Veterans Day, at precisely 11 a.m., a wreath-laying ceremony is held at the Tomb of the Unknowns in the Arlington National Cemetery. Each year the President of the United States participates in this event. The Paralyzed Veterans of America holds a National Veterans Day Poster and Essay Contest for elementary and middle school students across the United States.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs features an interactive map that lets visitors search for Veterans Day celebrations in and around their local area. Check out the map here and see what events are held near you!

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