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The History of Veterans Day

November 11, 2017

The History of Veterans Day

Veterans Day is one of the important federal holidays in the United States of America. Even though it’s a popular holiday, according to the Department of Veterans Affair it’s being often confused with Memorial Day. What is the reason for this confusion? The reason is that both of these holidays are dedicated to similar causes, but there’s a slight difference – Veterans Day is dedicated to the military personnel who has participated in all wars and with whom we can shake hands, pay our respect and say thank you personally. Memorial Day is a little bit different because it is celebrated to honor the fallen warriors who only live in our memory now. Let’s take a closer look at the history of the Veterans Day to see how this holiday evolved over the decades.  

Quick Overview of Veterans Day History

Veterans Day wasn’t always called like this. It was initially titled Armistice Day and was dedicated to the fallen warriors of World War I. Although Treaty of Versailles was signed only during the summer of 1919, the end of the World War I happened earlier on the 11th of November 1918. The first Armistice Day was celebrated on the 11th of November 1919.

After both World War II and Korean War, it was clear the word “Armistice” isn’t that actual anymore because American soldiers have already participated in more devastating wars than World War I. Taking this fact into consideration, the name of the holiday was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1954, Veterans Day became a holiday to honor veterans who participated in all wars.

In 1968, it became a federal holiday and in this year the Uniforms Holiday Bill was issued. It ensured the celebration of four national holidays (Memorial Day, Washington’s Birthday, Veterans Day and Columbus Day) and a three-day weekend for federal employees. This bill also changed the day of Veterans Day celebration from the 11th of November to the 4th Monday of October. Many states disagreed to celebrate Veterans Day on the new date and in 1978 it was moved back to the 11th of November once again.

Veterans Day Festivities

If Veterans Day falls on Saturday the federal government observes it on Friday and if Veterans Day falls on Sunday the federal government observes it on Monday. Governmental businesses are usually closed on the date and non-government businesses can decide for themselves whether they want to remain opened or closed, regardless of decisions of the government.

According to the Resolution 143, issued by the Senate of United States of America in 2001, the week from 11th till the 17th of November is recognized as "National Veterans Awareness Week." On the Veterans Day, you can hear many speeches, prayers, and thanksgivings and see parades. The best way to celebrate this day is to at least say thank you to veterans whom you know. In case you want to make a bigger contribution you can ask your fellow veterans about institutions which accept donations and need help from volunteers. After all, one good act is better than 100 good words.

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