Veterans Day - Informational Text and Activity Pack





Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a United States holiday celebrated on November 11 each year. It is a holiday to honor veterans, those who have served in the United States military. It is not to be confused with Memorial Day, which is celebrated in May and honors those who have died in service to our country.

Veterans come from all branches of our military: Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines. Those who served in the Coast Guard are also considered veterans.

History

President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Veterans Day, then known as Armistice Day, for November 11, 1919. It was called Armistice Day because it honored the armistice, or agreement, that ended World War I in 1918. President Wilson proclaimed:

"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory..."

A handy way to remember the date of this holiday is that the armistice was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

Seven years later, President Calvin Coolidge issued another proclamation setting November 11 as a day to honor the armistice of World War I. Next, in 1938, an act of the U.S. Congress established November 11 of each year as "a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'." This made it a legal annual holiday. In 1954, Congress changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to expand it to celebrate all veterans, not just those from World War I.

Veterans Day Observances Today

Today Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11. On Veterans Day public schools and government offices and some business are closed in observance of the holiday. If Veterans Day falls on a Saturday, the previous Friday or that Saturday is observed as the holiday. If November 11 falls on a Sunday, then the holiday is typically observed on Monday. Many communities hold parades and other ceremonies and activities to honor their veterans.

Perhaps you know someone who is a veteran - a family member or maybe a friend’s mom, dad, aunt or uncle. You may even know someone who is currently serving in our military. Today is a good day to thank those who work hard to keep our country safe.