1.) Veterans Day pays tribute to all veterans, living or dead, which differs from Memorial Day during which we pay tribute to those who lost their lives in combat.
2.) Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th of each year.
3.) Veterans Day is both a state and federal holiday in the United States
4.) November 11th marks the day that the major combat in World War I ended. In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson named November 11th Armistice Day.
5.) World War I formally ended on November 11th, the 11th day at the 11th hour in the 11th month. How cool is that!
6.) Originally, when known as Armistice Day, it was meant to honor those who died in World War I, but when it was amended in the early 1940s, it was changed to honor all the veterans who have served in the U.S. military.
7.) The first national holiday to celebrate Veterans Day was held in 1947. In 1954, Armistice Day legally became Veterans Day.
8.) Veterans Day falls on the same day as Remembrance Day and Armistice Day in other countries.
9.) Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran from Alabama, came up with the idea in 1945 to honor all veterans on November 11th, not just the ones who had lost their lives in World War I.
10.) Raymond Weeks was given the Presidential Citizenship Medal in Birmingham, from Ronald Reagan in 1982. Raymond Weeks led the celebration from 1947 until 1985 when he died.
11.) In 1971, Veterans Day was moved to be the fourth Monday in October. In 1978 it went back to being November 11th.
12.) In 1954 the National Veterans Award was created, also in Alabama.
13.) Each year on Veterans Day there is a ceremony held in Arlington Cemetery to honor all who have died in war.
14.) There are approximately 24 million veterans living today.
15.) There were approximately 400,000 members of the United States military killed during World War II.
16.) On Veterans Day there are a number of parades held across the United States, as well as many speeches given.
17.) In 1921, on November 11th, an American soldier was buried at Arlington Cemetery. His identity was unknown and as such, his gravesite is called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On November 11th a wreath is laid on the grave during a ceremony. It is laid by the president or by a high-ranking member of the government.
18.) In 2011 it was estimated that approximately 8.1% of veterans in the United States are women.
19.) Approximately 35% of the veterans living today served in the United States military in the Vietnam War.
20.) On average, those who have served in the military in the United States, including men and women, earn more than those who have not served.
21.) There is not supposed to be an apostrophe in Veterans Day. Still, some spell it Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day.
22.) Some schools close on Veterans Day and some stay open. There is no legal requirement for a school to close or to stay open, as individual schools districts or states are free to establish their own policies.
23.) The word veteran comes from the nomenclature of the old English language, meaning old, experienced soldier.
24.) The first use of the word, veteran came to use in 1789, in the English language when referring a former member of the armed forces or an ex-serviceman. The extended meaning of the word goes back to someone who has served a longtime in any position.
25.) Three states are home to more than a million veterans: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.5 million), and Texas (1.7 million).
26.) The unemployment rate of post-9/11 veterans (aka “Gulf War-era II veterans”) is 6.2%.
27.) Nearly 10 million veterans are age 65 or older.
28.) Veterans make up 12% of the adult homeless population.
29.) 70% of homeless veterans suffer from substance abuse, while 50% experience mental health issues such as post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), which makes it harder to maintain relationships and hold down a job.
30.) Many homeless veterans end up living on the streets for 8 or 9 times the length of their deployments.