Friday, November 10, 2023
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Veterans Day 2023: History, significance, and everything you need to know

While Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 each year, regardless of the day of the week

By
Web Desk
Photographs of soldiers killed on duty in Afghanistan are seen attached to replica crosses at a Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey, November 11, 2010. —Reuters
Photographs of soldiers killed on duty in Afghanistan are seen attached to replica crosses at a Field of Remembrance outside Westminster Abbey, November 11, 2010. —Reuters

Veterans Day, observed annually on November 11th, is a federal holiday in the United States dedicated to honouring the service of military veterans from all US wars, past and present.

History of Veterans Day 

Initially known as Armistice Day, it originated after World War I and gained federal recognition as one of the ten official holidays in the 1930s. The holiday's date, November 11, was chosen to commemorate the armistice signed between the Allies and Germany, marking the end of hostilities on the Western Front in 1918.

The history of Veterans Day reflects its evolution from Armistice Day, initially intended to honour veterans of World War I. In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day to encompass veterans of all American wars.

The observance date experienced changes over the years until President Gerald Ford restored it to November 11 1978.

Is it a federal holiday?

While Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11 each year, regardless of the day of the week, the federal observance for government employees and services may vary based on the day it falls. In 2023, since Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, federal employees will observe the holiday on the preceding Friday, November 10. 

This adjustment also led to the closure of many non-essential government services, schools, and businesses on that Friday.

Is it same as Memorial Day? 

Veterans Day differs from Memorial Day, which occurs on the last Monday of May each year. While both holidays pay tribute to military service members, Memorial Day specifically honours those who sacrificed their lives for their country. In contrast, Veterans Day recognizes all veterans, living and deceased, who served in any wars, past or present.

The occasion is marked by various events, including parades, memorial services, and special deals offered by businesses to veterans. It serves as a time to express gratitude and respect for the dedication and sacrifices made by the men and women who have served in the US military.