Today is November 11, Veterans Day.
A day when we honor all American veterans, living and dead, and thank living veterans we know - and see - who have served in the United States armed services.
But how much do you really know about this historic day? Here are eleven facts you may not know:
- Veterans Day and Memorial Day are commonly confused. Memorial Day honors American service members who died in service, while Veterans Day thanks all American veterans - living or dead.
- The origin of Veterans Day - The armistice ending World War I began in 1918 on the 11th hour of the 11the day of the 11th month.
- Armistice Day was first celebrated in November 1919, one year after the armistice went into effect.
- President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as the fist Armistice Day celebration.
- Armistice Day become a legal holiday in 1938 when Congress made November 11 an annual legal holiday.
- In 1954, after World War II, President Eisenhower signed a bill changing the name to Veterans Day, to honor veterans of all American wars.
- At 11 a.m. on November 11, at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a color guard with members of every military branch renders honors to America's war dead and the United States president, or a representative, places a wreath at the tomb while a bugler sounds taps.
- All federal offices and many schools and businesses are closed to observe the holiday.
- There are approximately 23.2 million United States veterans.
- Celebrating its 84th anniversary this year, America's Parade in New York City is the largest U.S. event celebrating Veterans Day.
- Britain, France, Australia, and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11.
Want more great information about Veterans Day? Check out the articles, videos, and speeches on the History website>>
And, thank you to our veterans - Schoolwires honors and supports you!