Veterans Day

Veterans Day

Dennis Snider

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Significance of Veterans’ Day 2019

Veterans’ Day 2019 is a federal holiday (previously known as Armistice Day) observed annually on November 11, not only in the United States but in many other countries throughout the world. In the United States, it is a day that honours all men and women that have served as military veterans in the United States Armed Forces. Additionally, Veteran’s Day 2019 is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended the World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany in 1918. Veterans Day 2019 should not to mistaken with Memorial Day; Veterans’ Day celebrates the service of all United States military veterans, while Memorial Day honours those who died while in military service.

History of Veterans’ Day

The history of Veterans’ Day dates back to the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations came into effect, bringing an end to World War I. On November 11, 1919, Armistice Day was proclaimed by President Wilson and commemorated United States’ Veterans who served in World War I for the first time. In 1926, the United States Congress officially recognized November 11 as the end of World War I and declared that day as the anniversary of the armistice.

In the year 1954, Armistice Day officially became known as Veterans’ Day and from then on, became a holiday honouring American veterans of all wars. In 1968 the Uniforms Holiday Bill made an attempt to move Veterans Day to the fourth Monday of October. The bill took effect in 1971. However, this caused a lot of confusion as many states disagreed with this decision and continued to commemorate Veterans’ Day on November 11. In 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law which stated that Veterans Day would, again, be observed on November 11 from 1978 onwards. Veterans Day 2019 is still celebrated on November 11.

Traditions of Veterans’ Day

Traditionally Veterans’ Day 2019 is viewed as a time of honour and remembrance. Annually, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans’ Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery (in Virginia), while parades, church services and other celebrations are held throughout the United States. In many places the American flag is hung at half-mast. A period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11am. Additionally, many schools choose to mark the occasion with special assemblies or other activities.

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