Veterans Day is a federal holiday aiming at honoring all of those who served in the United States Armed Forces. The holiday seems very similar to Memorial Day observed on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day, however, is focused on those who died, and Veterans Day celebrates the service of all veterans – all those who have served in the US Forces and were discharged under conditions other than dishonorable. Before 1964 Veterans Day was known as Armistice Day.
Exactly one year after the armistice that quashed the World War I, President Woodrow Wilson issued a message expressing his feelings about the meaning of this day for all Americans. However, it took seven years from that moment for the Congress to make a request calling for annual observance of November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. In 1938 the holiday was proclaimed a legal Armistice Day. An interesting fact is that the day was supposed to celebrate the cause of world peace, while one year later World War II started.
After World War II one of its veterans, Raymont Weeks, suggested the holiday to honor not only World War I veterans, but all of those who serviced the US Armed Forces. The idea was supported by Dwight Eisenhower who later, as a President, signed the bill establishing Veterans Day into law.
As a federal holiday, Veterans Day is often a day off for students and many workers. It is a great opportunity to pay respects to those who have served the US Forces, especially those who are still alive. America’s veterans are honored for their sacrifice, patriotism and the love of country. Many parades are organized that day, a period of silence can be also observed at 11 am. In many places an American flag is hung at half-mast.
Did you know?
As many other holidays in the United States, Veterans Day was also moved from November 11 to the fourth Monday of October. The change was implicated by the Uniform Holiday Bill that was aiming at establishing more long weekends. Many states, however, decided that this date is too confusing, and that November 11 is a matter of historic and patriotic significance. Most citizens supported this approach, so celebrating Veterans Day was restored to November 11.
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