Veteran's Day

Veterans Day is a US national holiday for honoring war veterans. Veterans Day is a celebration for all those who have served their country in the US military. 

History of Veterans Day

In the USA, on November 11th, at 11:11 a.m., the entire country has a moment of silence for veterans to thank them for their service to the United States of America. Veterans Day is celebrated on anniversary of the signing of the armistice peace treaty between the Allied nations and Germany. The armistice was signed on the eleventh of November on the eleventh hour in 1918. 

Picture of a Veterans Day Parade in the USA

Veterans Day ceremony (Photo: Spencer Imbrock / Unsplash)

 

World War I officially ended a year later on June 29th, 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in France. 

What used to be the name for Veterans Day?

Today, this US national holiday is known as Veterans Day. Originally it was called Armistice Day and is based on:

  • The call for the allied and German troops to lay down their weapons on November 11th, 1918 and
  • The US national holiday celebrated on November 11th every year since 1938

In the year 1954, the national holiday named Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day to honor all those who have served in the United States military.

Woodrow Wilson's Armistice Day speech

US President Woodrow Wilson gave a speech about the importance of Armistice Day on November 11th and said the following famous words:

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations".

In the USA, veterans are thanked for serving their country and fighting for its freedom and rights as well as those of the entire world.

What do Americans do on Veterans Day?

The sentence, “Thank you for your service” has a different emotional meaning for every American and on Veterans Day, it is said to thank veterans and show respect for their service for the United States of America.

Watch this video to learn more, such as just how many veterans there are in the USA:

At the eleventh hour, there is a moment of silence to reflect on the lives of those who went to war to protect the United States. On this day, there are also many parades and festivities all around the country.

American show their appreciation to veterans with the following gestures:

  • All around the nation, wreaths are placed on memorials for the Second and First World Wars, the Korean War and the Vietnam War;
  • The American flag is flown at half-mast;
  • Church masses in honor of veterans, soldiers and their families;
  • Many restaurants give free meals to veterans;
  • Many stores offer veterans special discounts;
  • The U.S. President places a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia

The USA is a very diverse country and Veterans Day is an important part of its cultural as the nation celebrates those who have served them. This reverent national holiday could soon be a part of your American life.

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