Why We Celebrate Veterans Day

Why We Celebrate Veterans Day

We, at Vital Pet Life, thank you for your service to our country and our communities.

Veterans Day occurs on November 11th every year in the United States in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I, known as “Armistice Day”. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11th became a national holiday beginning in 1938.

Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day. Memorial Day honors American servicemen and women who died in service to their country or as a result of injuries incurred during battle. Veterans Day is a tribute to ALL American veterans, living or passed, but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

In the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery. At the same time, parades and other celebrations are held in states around the country. The Arlington National Cemetery is the home to the graves of over 400,000 people, most of whom served in the military.

Today’s Veterans

The military men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life. They are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, and are vital to their communities. Here are some facts about the veteran population of the United States:

  • 18.2 million living veterans served during at least one war as of 2018.
  • 9% of veterans are women.
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
  • 3 million veterans have served in support of the War on Terrorism.
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 325,574 are still alive as of 2020.
  • As of 2020, California and Florida are each home to more than 30,000 veterans from WWII. Each of those states is home to 10% of the nation’s total living WWII veteran population.
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.

How we Observe Veterans Day

We observe Veterans Day by having a day off for the general population, and schools and most businesses are closed. Federal Government offices are closed on November 11th. If the holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed the Friday before. And if it falls on a Sunday, it is to be observed the following Monday. We must take this day to honor all that have served and are currently serving our country.

Veterans Day is to honor and thank all military personnel who served the United States in all wars, mainly living veterans. Parades and church services mark it, and in many places, the American flags are hung at half-mast. Some will even have a period of silence lasting two minutes at 11am.

In honor of our Veterans, many restaurants will offer either free or discounted meals. Some restaurants will even give back to veterans on Veterans Day. You can find the whole list here, Giving Back to Veterans.

More Than a War Hero

2020 marks the 75th anniversary of the end of WWII. The 70th anniversary of the Korean War and the 30th anniversary of both the end of the Panama Invasion and the beginning of Desert Shield.

Veterans contribute to American society in many ways and not just during their time in active duty. Throughout our history, military service members put on their uniforms to protect the values and liberties that this nation was built on. Veterans take the lessons they have learned and the experiences they’ve gained during their continued service to our country by strengthening our communities. Some become our nation’s leaders, scientists, and even entrepreneurs. And their service goes beyond the uniform.

This Veteran’s Day, the theme is “Vision: Veterans in Focus.” Remember to honor the men and women who wear their uniforms and continue serving our country and communities.