Each year, our nation commemorates Veterans Day on Nov. 11, to pay tribute to all American veterans -- living or dead -- but especially to those who served our country honorably during war or peacetime.
Here are seven things about Veterans Day that are worth knowing:
- The day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919. It marked the first year since the end of World War I.
- Nov. 11 was chosen as the day to honor the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918, which signaled the end of WWI.
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name in 1954 to Veterans Day.
- The Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress in 1968, which moved the commemorative day to the fourth Monday in October. That went into effect in 1971. However, President Gerald Ford in 1975 returned Veterans Day to Nov. 11, citing the important historical significance the date held.
- The United States isn’t the only country to observe Veterans Day. Australia, Canada, France and Great Britain commemorate veterans of WWI and WWII on or near Nov. 11. Canada has what is known as Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday on the second Sunday of November.
- Arlington National Cemetery, in Washington, D.C., holds an annual remembrance service every Veterans Day. There are more than 400,000 graves in the cemetery, most of which belong to people who served in the military.
- We’d be remiss not to mention this one: There is no apostrophe in Veterans Day. The day is not possessive, so it doesn’t belong to one veteran (veteran’s) or multiple (veterans’). It’s a day FOR veterans, plural.
Did you know about any of these? Maybe on Veterans Day, when you’re in conversation with someone, you can drop some of these nuggets of knowledge and impress a few people.