Veterans Day (USA) 2022: History, Significance and Celebrations

Veterans Day in the United States is annually celebrated on November 11th. This day is a tribute to military veterans who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. Not to be confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who died while in service, Veterans Day honors all military veterans, including those still with us. 

It coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries that mark the anniversary of the end of World War I. 

Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. 

Event Veterans Day
Date November 11, 2022
Day Friday
Significance The day honors those men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces
Observed by United States

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Veterans Day (USA) History: 

The origins of the Veterans Day comes from the Armistice Day. It all began in the first World War in which was a four years long global conflict which included two sides fighting amongst each other this included the Allied powers and the Axis powers. In the Allied powers there were Britain, France and later the United States, on the other hand in Axis powers there were countries of Germany, Austria-Hungary and Ottoman Empire. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. So to celebrate this event Armistice Day was created on the request of King George V of Great Britain to celebrate the soldiers who fought in the war. 

So Veterans Day was originally celebrated as Armistice Day and it was first issued on November 11, 1919, by President Woodrow Wilson a year after the end of World War I. The purpose of Armistice Day was to honor the fallen soldiers of the Great War for their ultimate sacrifice and bravery which resulted in the Allied victory in the war. Seven years later, in 1926, US Congress adopted a resolution requesting that President Calvin Coolidge issue annual proclamations on November 11, making Armistice Day a legal holiday. A Congressional Act approved in May 13, 1938, made November 11 in each year a legal holiday: “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day”. 

In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just for those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama and annually until his death in 1985. President Reagan honored Weeks at the White House with the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982 as the driving force for the national holiday. Elizabeth Dole, who prepared the briefing for President Reagan, determined Weeks as the “Father of Veterans Day”. 

U.S. representative Ed Rees from Emporia, Kansas, presented a bill establishing the holiday through Congress. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also from Kansas, signed the bill into law on May 26, 1954. It had been eight and a half years since Weeks held his first Armistice Day celebration for all veterans. Congress amended the bill on June 1, 1954, replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans,” and it has been known as Veterans Day since. The National Veterans Award was also created in 1954. Congressman Rees of Kansas received the first National Veterans Award in Birmingham, Alabama, for his support in offering legislation to make Veterans Day a federal holiday. 

Though the holiday is currently and was originally celebrated on November 11, the day was moved to the fourth Monday of October in 1971 due to the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. Finally, on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law that returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. The United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on August 4, 2001, designated the week of November 11 through November 17, 2001, as National Veterans Awareness Week. The resolution called for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans. 

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Veterans Day (USA) Significance: 

Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11 in the country. It’s a holiday honoring men and women who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, on the anniversary of the end of the first modern major conflict World War I. The holiday is observed by the federal government on a Friday, if the holiday falls on Saturday, or on a Monday, if the holiday falls on a Sunday. Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. State and local government closings are determined locally and non-government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of federal, state, or local government operation determinations. 

While the military is often thought of in a war context, most veterans will tell you that they risked their lives to defend our fundamental freedoms and that they value peace much more highly than war. Very few who have seen the real horror of war are anxious to rush into it, and Veterans Day encourages all of us to reflect on the value of harmony in our daily interactions and lives. It helps us to understand the perspective of soldiers who risks their lives on the frontline for serving the nation and its values. Hence this day also makes us realize the important role that a soldier plays in protecting the nation and that’s why soldiers must be appreciated for their contributions and sacrifice. 

There are many challenges which veterans face today after retirement like they face disproportionate rates of homelessness, deficits in educational achievement, a struggle to find employment, and often have to deal with devastating wounds. In many cases, post-traumatic stress disorder makes it hard for them to reintegrate into regular society. By understanding these challenges, we can all reach across those divides and make sure veterans have the best possible chance of having a healthy and fulfilling life after their service. So this day also highlights this very important issue for the betterment of veterans which is often ignored. 

On both Veterans Day and Memorial Day, it’s customary to spend time remembering and honoring the countless veterans who have served the United States throughout the country’s history. However, there is a distinction between the two holidays as Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL who have served, living or deceased, but particular the living veterans among us. On the other hand, Memorial Day specifically commemorates the men and women who died while in service of their country and made the ultimate sacrifice for their country.

Veterans Day comes just one day after the Marine Corps birthday on November 10. Typically celebrated with a ball and cake-cutting ceremony, Marines traditionally are given a 96-hour liberty to mark both holidays together – and recover from their service birthday festivities. While the holiday is commonly printed as Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day in calendars and advertisements, the United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.” 

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Veterans Day (USA) Celebrations: 

Veterans Day is a federal holiday, a bank holiday and, in most states, a state holiday. That means that federal employees, including military members, are typically given the day off and, in most states, state workers are as well. Whether Veterans Day is taken as a work holiday by companies is a business decision. Many companies choose to take off either Veterans Day or Columbus Day, which falls in October, but not both. 

Communities across the country pull out all the stops to honor their veterans through a variety of programs and events. Like various events and parades are organized on this day all across the country paying tribute to the veterans or involving fun celebrations for all the veterans. So do try to attend such events to more about the history and contributions of the soldiers in US history. 

Most veterans cherish their time spent serving their country and one of the best ways to honor that service is to present military-themed gifts like bottle openers (apparently a ‘thing’ among vets,) wooden U.S. flags, or specially-designed pens to the veterans in your life. So giving a military-themed gift is one of the best choice for this day. 

Remember to send your active service military friends and veterans organizations overseas with a goodie bag of cookies by Operation Cookies, a company owned and operated by veterans sending delicious, home-baked cookies to homesick military personnel stationed anywhere in the world. So do ship some cookies as a way of appreciating these hardworking soldiers. 

You can also try to serve the community. Every community has veterans service organizations (VSOs), whose focus is to provide support to military veterans and families. These VSOs focus on issues from PTSD to suicide prevention to career transition services to temporary housing to equine therapy and everything in between. So do try to add your contribution for this noble cause. 

Most Searched FAQs on Veterans Day (USA): 

1. When is Veterans Day (USA) celebrated?

Veterans Day (USA) is annually celebrated on November 11th. 

2. What is the importance of Veterans Day(USA)? 

The importance of Veterans Day is to celebrate and honor all of America’s veterans for their bravery, sacrifice, and love for their country. 

3. What flower is a symbol of Veterans Day(USA)? 

On September 27, 1920, the poppy became the official flower of The American Legion family to memorialize the soldiers who fought and died during the war. In 1924, the distribution of poppies became a national program of The American Legion.

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