Let’s get the confusion out of the way. Veterans Day commemorates ALL veterans, alive or not. (Memorial day is the holiday that is reserved for those who gave their lives during service to our country.)
See history lesson further down. Now, on to the current stuff.
Veterans Day 2020 theme: “Vision: Veterans in Focus.” Looking at centuries of Veterans’ service and sacrifice, maintaining the vision for the future of Veterans.
Firstly, here are some links to benefits from some thoughtful businesses that have chosen to honor us veterans with Veterans Day free meals & discounts:
So, are you ready to find out what you don’t know about Veterans Day?
Does Veterans Day commemorate the end of the “war to end all wars” (aka World War 1 or The Great War)? Well, not exactly. Originally, Veterans Day was known as Armistice Day. And, that day marked the “armistice”, or temporary cessation of hostilities (Nov. 11th, 1918). But, the Treaty of Versailles wasn’t signed until June 28th, 1919 officially ending The Great War. Confused yet?
So, Armistice Day was the forerunner to Veterans Day. And, the United States Congress did not officially recognize the end of WW1 until June 4th, 1926. To add to the confusion, we didn’t get the November 11th legal holiday until 1938. Also, that day was still called “Armistice Day”, and it was set aside to honor only WW1 veterans. After 2 more major wars, the act that established the legal holiday was amended in 1954 and would now be called Veterans Day. After that amendment, the holiday was changed to honor veterans of ALL wars.
Now, as tends to happen, confusion was added, once again, in 1968. The Uniform Holiday Bill intended to make Veterans Day into a 3-day weekend. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holidays on their original dates. But, finally, in 1978, President Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11th, no matter what day of the week on which it falls.
Have a happy Veterans Day, and thank the veterans that you know!