Unlike Memorial Day, Labor Day, and Columbus Day, Veterans Day does not always fall on a Monday. Each year, the holiday takes place on November 11 to honor the anniversary of the signing of the armistice, which ended World War I in 1918. The holiday, which is also known as Armistice Day and Remembrance Day, honors all military personnel in the United States who have served in war, especially those who are still living.
According to the IB Times, Congress officially passed the resolution to honor Veterans Day on the 11th of November each year in 1929. The resolution states, “Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through goodwill and mutual understanding between nations.” It wasn’t until 1928, however, that Armistice Day was declared a federal holiday. (Dwight D. Eisenhower then changed the holiday’s name to Veterans Day in 1958).
How is the day different from Memorial Day? Memorial Day remembers those who died in battle or as a result of wounds from battle, while Veterans Day thanks and honors those who served in the military. Thus, while Veterans Day gives thanks to those who have died, its main intention is to thank living veterans for their service. Memorial Day is observed on the last Monday of May each year.
According to the US Census Bureau, there were 21.8 million veterans of the US Armed Forces as of 2014. 10% of those veterans were women at the time, and the states with the highest numbers of veteran residents were California, Texas, and Florida. An estimated 2.5 million servicemen served in Iraq and Afghanistan, and as of 2014, 7,391,000 Vietnam War service members were still alive.