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7 facts about Veterans Day you should know

By CNN Staff

Published November 9, 2018

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Here's a look at Veterans Day, a holiday honoring men and women who have served in the US armed forces.

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1

It's celebrated annually on Nov. 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I.

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2

There are 19.6 million veterans in the United States, according to the most recent statistics available.

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3

9.2 million veterans are over the age of 65.

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4

There are 1.9 million female veterans.

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5

Veterans Day originally began as Armistice Day. President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation in 1919.

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"In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress -- at the urging of the veterans service organizations -- amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans. ... With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars."

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6

In 1968, Congress changed the date of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October in order to give federal employees a three-day weekend. The change began in 1971.

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7

Then in 1975, President Gerald Ford changed the date of Veterans Day back to November 11. The change began in 1978.

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But Veterans Day, a federal holiday, should not be confused with Memorial Day.

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Celebrated the last Monday in May, Memorial Day is the holiday set aside to pay tribute to those who died serving in the military.

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And just for good measure (because believe it or not, we've seen folks thanking troops on Labor Day): The first Monday in September, Labor Day honors the contributions of all American workers, not just the military.

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