Though thousands of people have the day off from school and work today, it is easy to forget what day November 11th actually is. Today is Veterans Day! For many people, Veterans Day may not have much personal significance, but remembering the purpose of the holiday is just as important.
What is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day is a federal holiday, celebrated each year on November 11th to honor veterans who once served in the military or armed forces. Sound the same as Memorial Day? Not quite! Veterans Day is a day to recognize all military service, while Memorial Day specifically honors those who have lost their lives while in service.
Why do we celebrate on November 11th?
Originally, November 11th was known as Armistice Day, a federal holiday that began in 1938 to honor those who died in World War I on the anniversary of the last day of war. The day eventually was then expanded to include all veterans thanks to a veteran from Alabama who brought the idea all the way up to President Eisenhower. Finally, in 1954, the day was changed to Veterans Day for all to celebrate!
Why do we care?
Military service in the United States has been an ever present part of our national legacy. Though you may not know someone personally involved in the military or armed forces, chances are, someone you know does. We honor the bravery, dedication and sacrifice these individuals have made to protect their country. So despite your political beliefs, honoring and thanking those who have served is something we can all get behind.
Happy Veterans Day everyone!