“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - John F. Kennedy
Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day) is a federal holiday in the United States observed annually on the 11th of November. It originally recognized the beginning of the armistice at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 that ended World War I.
President Woodrow Wilson issued a message on the first anniversary of the armistice:
“Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.”
In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans rather than just the ones who died in World War I. He led a delegation to General Dwight Eisenhower, who was all for the idea.
In 1982, he was honored by President Reagan with the Presidential Citizenship Medal. Weeks was also named the ‘Father of Veterans Day’ by Elizabeth Dole.
Facts about Veterans
There are approximately 28 million Veterans in the US.
Women account for 9 % of Veterans.
The largest group dates from the Vietnam era
How to Honor Veterans on Veterans Day
Call or message someone who has served to let them know you appreciate their service
Send someone a care package or a thank you card
Prepare and give a meal to a Veteran
Donate your time to Homeless Vets
Attend a Veteran’s Day Parade
Volunteer at a VA Hospital