Happy Veterans Day is a national holiday celebrated on November 11 in the United States to honor the war dead and veterans of its armed services. Armistice Day is a commemoration that began in 1919 on the first centennial of the armistice that ended World War I. An unidentified World War I veteran was buried in Arlington National Cemetery at Arlington, Virginia, as a mark of respect in 1921. Similar ceremonies were held that year in other nations that had lost men in the battle, such as Italy or Portugal. Unknown troops were buried at Westminster Abbey in London, England, and the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France, the year before. Veterans Day is observed on November 11, 2022, a Friday.
In 1938, November 11 was declared a federally recognized holiday in the US. To honor those who have fought in every American war, the name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954. Each year, ceremonies are performed at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and floral tributes are laid at memorials around the nation as well as on the graves of military members. Ceremonies for naturalization have grown to constitute a significant component of the day’s events. November 11 is recognized as a day of remembrance for those who fought in World Wars I and II in Britain, Canada, Australia, and France. In Canada, November 11 is honored as Remembrance Day, while the second Sunday in November is commemorated as Remembrance Sunday in Britain.
On November 11, at 11:00 am, the date and time of the World War I agreement in 1918, it is customary to commemorate two minutes of quiet in Britain, the Commonwealth nations, and throughout Europe. Veterans Day 2018 Observance Poster, commemorating the 100th anniversary of the conclusion of World War I Veterans Day is a federal holiday, thus some Americans are free from work or school on that day. Veterans Day may be honored along either Saturday or the Friday before if it happens on a Saturday; however, if it falls on a Sunday, it is normally observed on Monday after.
Many private businesses provide it as a hanging holiday when it occurs on the weekend so that workers can select another day. According to a 2010 survey by the Society of Human Resource Management, 21% of companies intended to celebrate the holiday in 2011. Legally, there should be two minutes of quiet observed at 2:11 p.m. Eastern Standard Time. The federal government’s non-essential offices are closed. There is no postal delivery. Every federal employee gets paid for the holiday; all who must work on the holiday occasionally earn holiday pay in addition to their usual pay.
History of Veterans Day
President Woodrow Wilson officially proclaimed Veterans Day on November 11, 1919, a year after the end of World War I. It was formerly known as Armistice Day. Armistice Day was established to pay tribute to the bravery and sacrifice of the Great War’s dead. Congress passed a resolution demanding that President Calvin Coolidge make yearly proclamations on November 11 designating Armistice Day as a legal holiday seven years later, in 1926.
A measure to create the holiday was submitted to Congress by Emporia, Kansas, representative Ed Rees in 1954. On May 26, 1954, eight and half years following Raymond Weeks celebrated the inaugural Veterans Day, Eisenhower, the president at the time and a native of Kansas, signed the legislation into law. The 83rd United States Infantry Division served in both World Wars II as well as the Korean War. The word “Armistice” was removed from the Act of 1938 and replaced with the phrase “Veterans” at the request of veterans’ service groups. After this law was approved on June 1, 1954, November 11 was designated as a day to commemorate all American veterans.
Additionally established in 1954, the National Veterans Award was given to Congressman Rees as recognition for his assistance in establishing Veterans Day as a federal holiday. Although the holiday is presently observed on November 11 and was first observed on that day, the day was changed in 1971 as a result of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. President Gerald R. Ford finally signed a bill on September 20, 1975, moving Veterans Day back to its original November 11 date starting in 1978.
The federal government observes the holiday on a Friday if it occurs on a Saturday or a Monday if it falls on a Sunday. The U.S. Office of Personnel Administration determines when the federal government is closed. Non-government organizations are free to close or stay open as they think fit, independent of decisions made locally about the state, municipal, or federal government operations.