You already know why Veterans Day is important. You are the service members, veterans or family and friends of veterans who stay up-to-date on military news, pay, benefits, fitness and veteran jobs.
Veterans Day is a time for us to pay our respects to those who have served. For one day, we stand united in respect for you, our veterans.
This holiday started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service and was originally called Armistice Day. It fell on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. However, in 1954, the holiday was changed to “Veterans Day” in order to account for all veterans in all wars.
We celebrate and honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
What do you need to know about celebrating Veterans Day? Here’s some more information.
Is Veterans Day on the same day every year?
When first celebrated as Armistice Day, the day marked the end of World War I, formally recognized on the “11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month” in 1918.
Today we continue to celebrate the day as Veterans Day, still recognizing the original tie with November 11. That means Veterans Day is on the same day every year — November 11 — regardless of on which day of the week it falls. When the date falls on a Saturday or Sunday, government officials or businesses may recognize it on both the official day and the following Monday.
Is Veterans Day a federal holiday?
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.
Do schools close on Veterans Day?
Many schools do close on Veterans Day, but whether they do so is typically not a one-size-fits-all decision.
Public school holidays are set by the local school board, while private school holidays are set by private officials. State and private school college holidays are set much the same way. Check with your local school to confirm their calendar.
1. It’s “Veterans Day,” not “Veteran’s Day.” It could seem like just a silly grammar choice – but it’s not. The Department of Veterans Affairs notes that Veterans Day is a day for recognizing the veterans with us right now. “Veteran’s Day” with an apostrophe would instead be a day that belongs to veterans.
2. Veterans Day was previously celebrated on the fourth Monday of October instead of November 11. In the late 1960s Congress passed a law intended to stimulate the economy by adding more three-day weekends. They thought it would help encourage travel and other recreation. The “Uniform Monday Holiday Act” made Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Veterans Day all Mondays.
But many states disagreed with the choice, especially since Veterans Day was designated as November 11 – 11th month, 11th day, 11th hour – for historic reasons. So in Sept. 1975 President Gerald Ford signed a law returning Veterans Day to Nov. 11 starting in 1978.
3. Armistice Day was recast as Veterans Day in 1954. Today we know the day as “Veterans Day,” but until 1954 it was known as Armistice Day, officially recognizing the armistice agreement that ended WWI on Nov. 11, 1918. Even though WWI was hopefully termed “the war to end all wars,” it was anything but. By 1954 Americans had served in both WWII and the Korean War. Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954.
4. Marines celebrate their service birthday and Veterans Day with a 96-hour liberty. Veterans Day comes just one day after the Marine Corps birthday on Nov. 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.
5. A group once campaigned to rename Armistice Day as “Mayflower Day.” When “the war to end all wars” failed to do so, a small group of Ameircans led by Francis Carr Stifler of the American Bible Society proposed Armistice Day be replaced with Mayflower Day. That group argued the signing of the Mayflower Compact took place on Nov. 11, 1620 and was more appropriate to honor, since the Mayflower Compact was the cornerstone upon which the Declaration of Independence and the Bill of Rights stood. The idea gained little traction.