What is Veterans Day?

Veterans Day is an opportunity to recognize and celebrate the bravery, sacrifice, and invaluable contribution that military members past and present have made to keep our country safe. As crucial a day as it is, a lot of Americans still are unclear about what it means, why we celebrate it, and why it’s more important than a normal day off from work. At AVCC, we do more than help veterans find the care that they need—our job is to make sure that as many people as possible know and understand our mission, and why it’s so important to celebrate what veterans give to maintain our freedom. In this blog, we’ve listed some interesting facts about the holiday itself, including how it came to be, how its been recognized throughout history, and other interesting Veterans Day facts.

What’s the History Behind It?

Occurring on November 11 every year in the U.S., Veterans Day (formerly known as Armistice Day), was originally established as a legal holiday to honor the end of the first World War in 1918. The name change was spurred by the urging of several organizations at the conclusion of World War II and the Korean War in 1954. After some shuffling of the dates, (including a few years on October 25th), November 11 was finalized in 1978. If the holiday occurs on a Saturday or Sunday, it’s always observed the following Monday. The week following the holiday, from the 11th to the 17th, was officially designated as National Veterans Awareness Week, and called for more significant educational efforts directed at elementary, middle, and high school students.

How Is It Different From Memorial Day?

Memorial Day strictly honors service members who passed away in service to their country. While deceased service members are also honored on November 11, the day is set aside to more to honor those currently serving, currently living, or passed away in both wartime or peacetime.

Interesting Statistics

With such a significant portion of the population honored on November 11, it’s important to recognize the breadth of their contribution. Here are some facts courtesy of History.com, one of the country’s leading sources on American history:

  • 1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
  • 2 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • 2 million veterans are women.
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
  • 5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
  • 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
  • As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
  • As of 2014, three states have more than 1 million veterans among their population: California (1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.7 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.

Looking For More Information?

At AVCC, we aim to serve as a valuable resource for those looking to learn more about the history behind the holiday. We’re a full-service veterans care organization that’s driven by our passion for providing high-quality care, and aligning exceptional home care services with those in need. To find out more about how we can help veterans in your life, look through our website. We guarantee that we can help you and those who served with timely, effective care.