Most of us are aware of Veterans Day as a day where we honor our military. While that’s true, many of those same people aren’t entirely sure why we honor Veterans Day at all.
In North Florida, where our military hold a special place in our heart, most notably with the annual parade through downtown, it’s important to remember a few key facts about why we should take the time to honor those who choose to serve our country, past, present and future.
Little known facts about Veterans Day:
- November 11th is chosen as Veterans Day because World War I held a cease fire between Allied Nations and Germany on the eleventh day of the month, on the 11th hour in the 11th month of 1918.
- As of January 2013, there are almost 1.5 million Americans serving in our armed forces.
- As of 2012, there are 21.2 million veterans in the United States. 1.6 are female, and 9.6 are over the age of 65.
- 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 so Americans could have a three-day weekend. 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. This could signify why we have Memorial Day in September as our “three-day weekend.”
- Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11th: 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.
If you’d like to learn more about honoring Veterans Day in North Florida, be sure to check out more information about the parade on 11/11 and if you’d like to volunteer/donate to help out those who have served our country, check out Wounded Warrior Project.