Why Is Veterans Day Celebrated On November 11th? Facts To Know
Veterans Day is a public holiday in the United States of America celebrated on the 11th of November every year. But do you know why it is celebrated on this particular day? Well, there is a history behind it.
It all started in 1918 when World War I ended. The war officially ended on the 11th of November, and unknown soldiers of England and France were buried in each nation's highest place of honor. These memorial gestures were done at 11 AM on November 11, which can also be said as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. It was originally called Armistice Day at that time.
In America, a similar memorial took place in 1921. An unknown soldier from World War One was buried at Arlington National Cemetery. It is a hillside site with a view of the city of Washington, D.C., and the Potomac River. From that day. The site has become the main point of reverence for America's veterans.
Why Is Veterans Day Celebrated On November 11th?
Veterans Day is celebrated on the 11th of November because the day marks the end of World War I.
The major hostilities of World War I formally ended on 11th November 1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect. Hence it was called Armistice Day and was celebrated with the same name.
In America, President Woodrow Wilson called Armistice a national holiday. He announced that for Americans, the reflection of this day would be filled with pride in the heroism of those who died for the service of the country with gratitude for our victory. It also reflects the opportunity this has given America to show sympathy for peace and justice in the councils of countries.
After around two decades, World War II broke out, and hundreds of Americans lost their lives in the country service. So in remembrance of the veterans from both wars, many Veteran organizations urged to rename it. Hence, it was renamed "Veterans Day" in 1954.
But it is not that Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11. Once, Veterans day was moved to a Monday in the last week of October.
Why Was Veterans Day Moved To October?
Veterans Day was moved to October and created a controversy when Congress signed a bill in 1968.
"The Uniform Monday Holiday Act," passed by Congress in 1968, was an act to provide for uniform annual observances of certain legal public holidays like Washington's Birthday, Veterans Day, and Labor Day on Mondays.
Hence Veterans Day was celebrated on the fourth Monday of October. They said that it was because they wanted to ensure that the holidays fell on a Monday so that the federal employees get a three-day weekend.
This act came into effect in 1971, and many people celebrated it on the last Monday of October. However, Veterans groups opposed the date switch. Two states refused to switch their dates in 1971. They were celebrating Veterans day on November 11 as per tradition.
This created confusion over the two dates, and most of the states did not commemorate the holiday in October by 1974. With all this confusion going around, Congress was forced to heed the demand after the majority of the states refused to change the holiday. Therefore, President Gerald Ford signed the act again in 1975 to move Veterans Day to its original date, i.e, 11:11 am on the 11th day of the 11th month.
How Is Veterans Day Different Than Memorial Day?
Both Veterans Day and Memorial Day are holidays to honor the military community, but they are observed at different times of the year.
Memorial Day is the holiday to honor the military personnel who lost their lives in battle or due to the wounds sustained in battle. It is a tribute to all the fallen American soldiers who fought for the country.
On the other hand, Veterans Day is to honor all the military personnel who have served in the US military service, whether they lost their lives or not. It is a tribute to over 19 Million American men and women from the military service.
Memorial Day falls every year on the last Monday of May. While Veterans day is celebrated on 11th November.
On Memorial Day, a nationwide moment of remembrance takes place at 3 pm local time. Many people go to the cemeteries and offer flowers. Some volunteers decorate the graves with flowers and flags, and some decorate their houses. Many towns observe annual parades too.
Similarly, on Veterans Day, towns and churches hold parades for military families, and others come together to thank the living armies and remember the ones who died in service. There are many other ways to observe Veterans day, and it is celebrated on a massive scale all over the country.
How Do We Observe Veterans Day?
There are many ways people observe Veterans Day all over the country.
Celebrating Veterans Day is an opportunity to show our thanks and support to the military forces. Whether you are related to a military family or not, and whether your company employs military veterans or not, this day is important to honor those armed forces and their families who make sacrifices year-round for our peace and safety.
The government officially conducts a ceremony on this national holiday. Every year there is a poster contest. A Commemorative Veterans Day poster is selected among the artworks submitted by artists all over the country. The winning artwork is distributed to the VA facilities and military installations in the country and around the world.
The observance program is held each year at the Arlington National Cemetery. They lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns at exactly 11 am on 11th November and the ceremony continues with a parade of colors inside the Memorial Amphitheater.
The Veterans day National Committee selects a number of other regional sites. At these sites, people observe parades, ceremonies, military exhibitions, and a special tribute to distinguished Veterans. Another holiday celebrated on the month of November is All Saints Day. It also has a history behind its origin and importance.
How To Celebrate Veterans Day At Work?
Many business organizations and companies celebrate Veterans Day at work. You can acknowledge the veterans at your workplace and organize a Veteran-themed snack party.
You may also wear a red poppy to work. As red poppies symbolize remembrance and a hope for a peaceful and better future, it is best sold on this holiday. The profit made from sales of the red poppies goes to veterans associations and funds many charities and veterans' causes.
You can also share their story in a sensitive and respectful way to others in the company to recognize their contribution for the country.
Moreover, it is a holiday, so rather than going to work, the whole office team can go to a local Veteran event and participate the ceremony.
How To Celebrate Veterans Day At Home?
One of the ways people celebrate Veterans day at home is by treating the members of special forces and their families for lunch or dinner.
You can also serve the community. Several VSOs provide help to Veterans, especially the ones who have Post Traumatic Stress disorder. Such organizations mostly focus on suicide prevention and career transition. You can be a part of such organizations and involve in an activity that can boost the spirits of such veterans.
You can also get children involved to get creative. Make some DIY crafts or gifts for the veterans in your community. You can also use this opportunity to teach your kids the importance and history of this holiday.
Veterans Day Parade and Events 2022
All the states nationwide celebrate Veterans day with events and parades. Thousands of people attend the Parade on Veterans Day every year, and the largest Veterans Day Parade is held in New York City.
To attend the Parade, you must register for the event beforehand. You can pre-register through an online application also.
Many states have their own event taking place on certain streets of the city.
In Alaska, The Department of Military and Veterans Affairs will host the ceremony in Anchorage, Alaska, at the Alaska National Guard armory on Joint Base Elmendorf-Richardson.
In Arkansas, the ceremony will be held in Little Rock, Arkansas, at the MacArthur Museum of Arkansas Military History.
Phoenix Veterans Day Parade will be held in Arizona, and over 45,000 people will attend. The Parade will start at Montebello, and Central runs southbound, then turns East on Camelback Road, and then turns South on 7th Street.
In California, San Fernando Valley Veterans Day Parade will be held in Los Angeles. It will start from Laurel Canyon Boulevard and San Fernando Mission Boulevard in Mission Hills. Then from the South on Laurel Canyon Boulevard, it will end on Paxton Street in Pacoima. The San Diego Veterans Day Parade will also take place in Embarcadero downtown.
Similarly, the Denver Veterans Day Parade will be held around Civic Center Park in Colorado. You can check Military.com for more information about Parade and events in different states and cities.
The Parades will be broadcast on Television by ABC, CNN, CBS, NBC, and many other local news channels.
Are Banks Open On Veterans Day?
As it is a federal holiday, many companies, including different banks, will be closed to allow the veterans and their family members to observe Veterans Day. However, online banking is not affected.
It is not compulsory for all banks to close, so not all of them would be closed. However, the following banks will remain closed on November 11, 2022.
- Wells Fargo
- American National Bank
- Federal Reserve Bank
- TD Bank
- Ameris Bank
- Bank of America
- United Bank
- Bank of the West
- BMO Harris
- Capital One Chase Bank
- Citizens Bank
- Eastern Bank
- Frost Bank
- M&T Bank
- PNC Bank
- Regions Bank
- Santander Bank
- Signature Bank
- Silicon Valley Bank
So, you see, most banks are closed on this day, and only a handful are open. You must check at your local banks if they are open or not. However, just because many banks are closed on Veterans Day does not mean you cannot carry out some essential banking transactions.
Not all banking services require the help of a customer service representative or teller. For instance, you can take out money from your nearest ATMs if they are not located inside the Bank building. It will allow you to withdraw cash anytime you need. Some ATMs also have to deposit feature. You can also check bank balances, statements, cheques, and even internal transfers between accounts.
Similarly, online banking is still open as usual. So you can make online bill payments or digital transfers between accounts. Some transactions may not formally process until the next business day, though.
Does Mail Run On Veterans Day?
Like Banks and other businesses, Post Offices will be closed on Veterans Day, so mail service is not run this holiday.
Since the midterm elections are going around the country, millions of Americans are casting their vote. So, you may be wondering whether mail will be running or not. You can post your ballots, but they will be processed only on the next business day.
Having said that, USPS will not deliver mail on Veterans Day 2022. On the other hand, UPS will continue package delivery, and store locations will remain open. But there may be some minor delays for UPS SurePost and UPS Mail Innovations because of the holiday at USPS.
Similarly, with a modified service for FedEx Smart Post, FedEx will remain open.
Is The Stock Market Open On Veterans Day?
The Stock Market remains open on Veterans Day for full-day trading. However, the post office and the bond market will be closed.
While the secondary market will be closed, stock investors will be able to do trading during the usual active hours from 9:30 AM to 4 PM ET on both the NYSE (New York Stock Exchange) and Nasdaq Stock Market.
Is Costco Gas Open On Veterans Day?
There is no holiday for Costco on Veterans day. Although it is closed for all the other Federal Days, Costco remains open on Veterans Day.
So if you have free time this holiday and want to do some shopping, then it is good news. The store will be open during regular business hours. They are open from 10 AM to 8:30 PM from Monday to Friday, 9:30 AM to 6 PM on Saturday, and 10 AM to 6 PM on Sunday. Since veterans Day falls on Wednesday this year, the opening hours will be 10 AM to 8:30 PM.
Costco Gas will also be open during its regular hours. It has different opening hours than other stores. But on Wednesdays, it will be open from six in the morning till 9:30 in the evening.