Veterans Day Facts
- Origin: Armistice Day
- Date: November 11
- History: Created to commemorate World War I veterans
- Original Name: Armistice Day
- Longest Running Celebration: Birmingham, Alabama
- Largest Parade: New York City
- Lobbyist: Raymond Weeks
- Created Legislation: Congressman Rees
- Signed into Bill: President Eisenhower
- Most Speeches: President Clinton
- History: Veterans Day Was Originally Armistice Day
- Holidays: Veterans Day Is a Federal Holiday Celebrated in the United States
- History: Raymond Weeks Championed Expanding Veterans Day
- Politics: Congressman Ed Rees Won the First National Veterans Award
- History: Veterans Day Was Not Always Celebrated on November 11
- Holidays: Veterans Day Honors Both the Living and the Dead
- Culture: Remembrance Day Is Similar to Veterans Day
- There Is No Apostrophe in Veterans Day
- The Veterans’ Affairs Chairman is also Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee
- A Yearly Ceremony Is Held at Arlington National Cemetery
- President Reagan Gave Weeks the Presidential Citizenship Medal
- Weeks Led a Yearly Veterans Parade For 38 Years
- President Clinton Has Given 8 Veterans Day Speeches
- New York City Holds the Largest Annual Veterans Day Parade
- The Eternal Light Flagstaff Commemorates Veterans
Veterans Day Was Originally Armistice Day
Veterans Day facts tell us that one year after the end of World War I, US President Woodrow Wilson instituted Armistice Day. Armistice Day was introduced to remember those who died during the war. It falls on the anniversary of when the Armistice with Germany went into effect – the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. This is considered the first Veterans day, though it went by a different name.
Veterans Day Is a Federal Holiday Celebrated in the United States
In 1938, 20 years after the end of World War I and 19 years after the first Armistice Day, the United States Congress made Armistice Day a legal holiday. The federal holiday is celebrated every November 11. US Post Offices are closed on this day, as well as some parts of the government.
Raymond Weeks Championed Expanding Veterans Day
A veteran of World War II, Raymond Weeks, wanted to expand the celebration of Armistice Day to include all veterans, not just the ones who served and died in the First World War. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a congressional bill that expanded the scope of Armistice Day. A couple of days after the president signed the bill, Congress changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Congressman Ed Rees Won the First National Veterans Award
The National Veterans Award was first awarded in 1954 in Birmingham, Alabama, home of Raymond Weeks. According to Veterans Day facts, this award is given annually. The first person to receive the award was Congressman Ed Rees of Kansas, who wrote the legislation for, and championed the expansion of, Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Veterans Day Was Not Always Celebrated on November 11
From 1971 to 1977, Veterans Day was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October as part of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. In 1978, the holiday took back its rightful date on November 11 and continues to be celebrated annually on that day. However, if Veterans Day falls on a Saturday or Sunday, businesses and government organizations that celebrate may be closed on the Friday or Monday before or after the holiday.
Veterans Day Honors Both the Living and the Dead
Veterans Day facts show that on Memorial Day, the United States remembers those who gave their lives in battle. In contrast, Veterans Day celebrates the lives of soldiers, living or dead, who have fought for their country.
Remembrance Day Is Similar to Veterans Day
Australia and Canada both celebrate Remembrance Day on November 11 to commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II. The United Kingdom celebrates Remembrance Day on the Sunday closest to November 11. Some countries, including France, still celebrate Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I.
There Is No Apostrophe in Veterans Day
Many calendars and ads insert an apostrophe into Veterans Day, spelling it either Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day. Using an apostrophe implicates possession. The United States government decreed the proper spelling does not use an apostrophe, making Veterans an attributive noun that modifies the noun Day.
The Veterans’ Affairs Chairman Is also Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee
When President Eisenhower signed the Veterans Day Bill, he also appointed the Veterans Affairs Chairman to a newly created position, the Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee. Now, every Veterans Affairs Chairman is also the Chairman of the Veterans Day National Committee.
A Yearly Ceremony Is Held at Arlington National Cemetery
Veterans Day facts indicate Arlington National Cemetery is a national burial ground for those who have served their country. Every Veterans Day at 11 AM, a ceremony is held around the Tomb of the Unknowns to mark the sacrifices of veterans everywhere.
President Reagan Gave Weeks the Presidential Citizenship Medal
Raymond Weeks championed the creation of a national veterans day that included more than just World War I veterans. He even petitioned and convinced Eisenhower before he became president. For his tireless action in honor of veterans, President Reagan gave Weeks the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982.
Weeks Led a Yearly Veterans Parade For 38 Years
While Raymond Weeks worked towards making Veterans Day a national holiday, he instituted a parade and celebration in his hometown of Birmingham, Alabama. Weeks led the annual parade from 1947 – the first parade – until his death in 1985. Veterans Day facts show the parade still continues as the city of Birmingham carries on his legacy.
President Clinton Has Given 8 Veterans Day Speeches
Every year the US Department of Veterans’ Affairs runs an official Veterans Day ceremony. This ceremony is generally held at Arlington National Cemetery and features a speech from a high-ranking government official. President Bill Clinton spoke at the ceremony every year he was in office. He has given the most Veterans Day speeches and is the only President to speak every year of his presidency.
New York City Holds the Largest Annual Veterans Day Parade
New York City has held an annual Veterans Day parade since 1929. With around 25,000 participants each year, it is the nation’s largest Veterans Day parade. At 10 AM, an hour before the official start of the parade, a wreath is laid in Madison Square Park at the Eternal Light Flagstaff. At 11 AM the parade commences with marchers, floats, and marching bands.
The Eternal Light Flagstaff Commemorates Veterans
Part of the annual New York City celebration, the Eternal Light Flagstaff is a sculpture created by Paul Wayland Bartlett to commemorate the homecoming of the US Army and Navy after World War I. It was dedicated on Veterans Day in 1923.
Veterans Day Facts – Facts about Veterans Day Summary
Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day. It marked the end of hostilities in World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The first Armistice Day was November 11 1919. After World War II, Raymond Weeks petitioned to expand the scope of Armistice Day to include all veterans, not just the World War I dead. President Eisenhower signed Veterans Day into existence in 1954. There is an annual Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery and parades all over the country serve to honor those who have fought bravely for the United States.