Veterans Day 2023: Veterans Day, commemorated annually on November 11, honors former members of the United States Armed Forces. It is important to differentiate Veterans Day from Memorial Day, which pays tribute to deceased military personnel, by recognizing all military veterans, including those who are currently alive.
Veterans Day History
Veterans Day, initially observed as Armistice Day, was officially proclamated by President Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1919, one year subsequent to the conclusion of World War I. The purpose of Armistice Day was to commemorate the valor and sacrifice of the fallen soldiers of the First World War. In 1926, Congress passed a resolution requesting that President Calvin Coolidge proclame Armistice Day annually on November 11, thereby designating it as a legal holiday. This action took place seven years later.
Raymond Weeks, a veteran of World War II, proposed in 1945 that Armistice Day be expanded to honor all veterans, not just those who lost their lives in World War I. A delegation led by him was received by General Dwight Eisenhower, who enthusiastically supported the concept. Weeks subsequently coordinated the inaugural Veterans Day observance in Alabama in 1945, which persisted annually until his demise in 1985. President Reagan bestowed upon him the Presidential Citizenship Medal in 1982. Weeks was also designated by Elizabeth Dole as “Father of Veterans Day.”
In 1954, Ed Rees, a Representative from Emporia, Kansas, introduced a measure in Congress with the intention of establishing the holiday. The measure was signed into law by President Eisenhower, who was also a native of Kansas at the time, on May 26, 1954. This date came eight and a half years after the inaugural Veterans Day was observed by Raymond Weeks. At the behest of veterans’ service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress, which had previously served through both World War II and the Korean War, amended the Act of 1938 by replacing the word ‘Armistice’ with ‘Veterans.’ On June 1, 1954, this legislation was signed into law, designating November 11 as Veterans’ Day to pay tribute to American veterans across all conflicts.
In 1954, Congressman Rees was the first recipient of the National Veterans Award, which he received in recognition of his efforts to establish Veterans Day as a federal holiday. The holiday, which was initially observed on November 11, was rescheduled to the fourth Monday of October in 1971 as a result of the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. In 1978, President Gerald R. Ford enacted legislation that reinstated the regular observance of Veterans Day to its initial date of November 11, 1975, which he signed into law on September 20, 1975.
The federal government observes the holiday on either Friday or Monday, depending on whether it occurs on a Saturday or Sunday. The determination of federal government closures is carried out by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management. Local governments at the state and local levels determine which businesses may remain open or close, and non-governmental organizations are free to do so regardless of the operational decisions of the federal, state, or local governments.
Adopted by the United States Senate on August 4, 2001, Resolution 143 officially proclaimed the period from November 11th to November 17th, 2001, as National Veterans Awareness Week. Concerning the sacrifices and contributions of veterans, the resolution directed educational initiatives toward secondary and elementary school pupils.
Veterans Day 2023 FAQs
Define Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is a federal holiday observed to express gratitude and tribute to all veterans for their service.
In what manner is Veterans Day observed?
Individuals vary in their approach to Veterans Day celebrations, with some opting to volunteer at veteran organizations and others organizing a special dinner for the veterans in their lives.
What significance does Veterans Day hold?
Veterans Day is an occasion to commemorate and celebrate all American veterans in recognition of their valor, selflessness, and devotion to the country.
Veterans Day 2023 Activities
Employ a veteran
Veterans encounter employment obstacles such as inadequate readiness for civilian employment and impractical anticipations regarding the nature of labor and remuneration they may encounter upon their return. However, numerous individuals who depart from the military have commanded soldiers into combat, frequently on multiple deployments; consequently, they make excellent employees and leaders.
Engage in a run
Conduct a sponsored run in support of Residences for Troops, an organization that constructs residences for injured veterans. They possess expertise in providing fundraising assistance, allowing you to concentrate on the run itself and maximize your efforts toward raising funds for veterans.
Donate items to veterans.
Whether you own or operate a business, demonstrating your appreciation for veterans’ service on Veterans Day by providing complimentary products is an excellent way to express your gratitude. Could your organization extend a token of appreciation to a veteran today, be it tax return assistance or a simple cup of coffee?
Five facts about United States veterans
Numerous individuals have participated in at least one conflict.
18.2 million living veterans have participated in at least one conflict as of 2018.
9 percent of all American veterans are female.
The states with the highest proportion of veterans as of 2019 were Virginia, Alaska, and Wyoming.
Veterans of World War II
As of 2020, only 325,000 Americans out of a total of 16 million who had fought in World War II remained alive.
Kim Jong-un War
Two million veterans of the Korean War served in active duty.
VETERANS DAY DATES