7 facts about Veterans Day you should know

By CNN Staff

Published November 11, 2020


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

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There are 19.5 million veterans in the United States, according to the most recent statistics available.

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More than 9 million veterans are over the age of 65.

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There are approximately 2 million veterans who are women.

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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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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.



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 is Labor Day, which honors the contributions of all American workers, not just the military.

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