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Veteran’s Day History

The fighting in World War One ended on November 11, 1918. More than sixteen million people died, making it one of the deadliest conflicts in history. This war ushered in new, deadly weapons like tanks, airplanes and poison gas. Many world leaders vowed to never engage in another one declaring this war “a war to end all wars.” One year later, the U.S and many allies created a holiday called Armistice Day to honor all who fought. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name to Veterans Day and it became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. A separate holiday, Memorial Day, was created to honor those who died while serving and it is observed on the last Monday in May.

In 1968, Veterans Day was moved to the fourth Monday in October but that only lasted a few years and was moved back to the original date due to the historical importance of that day.

The government classifies a “veteran” as a person who served in the active military, naval or air service, and was discharged or released under conditions other than dishonorable. Currently, there are more than 16 million living veterans, two million of which are women.

Veterans Day in our house is a special day. My Air Force veteran husband rises early and puts out not only our large American flag but several smaller ones across the lawn. They are stored neatly in our garage ready for use on this day, Memorial Day and July 4th. He is proud of his time served, but especially looks up to those veterans that have served before him.

The national ceremony for Veterans Day would be the wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery held at exactly 11 a.m. It is quiet, solemn ceremony. Across the country, the day is commemorated with parades and similar remembrances.

On this day, businesses honor vets by giving free or discounted meals and services. For a detailed list of those deals, click on this link: https://www.military.com/veterans-day/restaurants-veterans-day-military-discounts.html

Some companies even give veteran discounts year around.

How can you and your family celebrate? Look for events that will be held around your community. Attend a parade or visit a veteran’s hospital. If you have any neighbors or coworkers that were veterans, bake them something special or drop by a card with a small gift. Year around, shop at veteran-owned businesses. Of course, the easiest way to commemorate the day, seek out those who served and say “thank you.”