Honoring our Veterans
It's Veterans Day today, a day to honor the men and women who have served our country in war and peace, here at home and abroad. As we like to do on holidays, we wanted to give you a bit of history as well as Veterans Day facts. Be sure to take time out today to honor our veterans and active duty service men and women.
History of Veterans Day
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.” Commemorated as Armistice Day beginning the following year, November 11 became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.
Veterans Day Facts
– In 1954, President Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
– In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
– Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November). In Europe, Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.
The brave men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children and grandparents. They are friends, neighbors and coworkers, and an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the current veteran population of the United States.
– 9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65.
– 1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35.
– 1.8 million veterans are women.
– 7.8 million veterans served during the Vietnam War era (1964-1975), which represents 33% of all living veterans.
– 5.2 million veterans served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present).
– 2.6 million veterans served during World War II (1941-1945).
– 2.8 million veterans served during the Korean War (1950-1953).
– 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
– As of 2008, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
– 5 states have more than 1 million veterans in among their population: California (2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1 million) and Pennsylvania (1 million).
– The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics; 126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.
Sources: U.S. Census Bureau, United States Department of Veterans Affairs and History.com