Veterans Day in the United States usually falls every 11 November. So, is Veterans Day a federal holiday? Learn 5 facts about this day, why it is celebrated, and if it is a federal holiday.
What is Veterans Day about?
Veterans Day is one out of ten United States federal holidays, so nonessential government offices are to be closed, including the post office. Federal holidays do not require banks to close, but most branches will probably give staff the day off.
They recognize the day on this date because of the Armistice of 11 November 1918—the formal agreement that marked the official end of World War I. On this day in 1918, allied forces and Germany came together to sign the peace treaty.
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Facts about Veteran Day
Veterans Day is one very popular holiday in the United States, yet its popularity has not stopped misconceptions about the day from spreading. Learn 5 important facts about this holiday below:
1. Veterans Day does not have an Apostrophe
Many people think that the holiday is called “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day,” but that is a misconception. The holiday is not a day that “belongs” to one veteran or multiple veterans, which is what an apostrophe implies. It’s a day for honoring all veterans — so you do not need an apostrophe.
2. Different from other military holidays
Veterans Day, just like Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day, all celebrate members of the US military. However, the holiday differs completely from the other military holidays. Memorial Day is a holiday held in honor of military members who died in service. Armed Forces Day—a holiday usually celebrated in May—recognizes those currently serving in while Veteran Day is an opportunity for the citizens to thank and celebrate those who have previously served in the US military. It also celebrates those who served the country, dead or alive, in war or peace.
3. It was originally called Armistice Day
They originally named the federal holiday Armistice Day to commemorate the end of World War I. However, in 1926, the US Congress passed a resolution for the annual observance of the day. A clause in the resolution states that the “recurring anniversary of [11 November 1918] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through goodwill and mutual understanding between nations.”
In May 1938, an act approved the resolution, and 11 November became a national holiday. After a few years, in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day.
In 1968, Congress passed a resolution for uniform holidays, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. This was to ensure that a few federal holidays — Veterans Day included — would be celebrated on a Monday, which could stimulate the economy if families take long weekend trips.
The uniform holiday law went into effect in 1971, but President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to 11 November because of the important historical significance of the date in 1975.
4. Other countries celebrate it
Another huge misconception about the federal holiday is that they only celebrated it in the United States. Other countries celebrate it as well. Maybe they don’t call it Veteran Day, but they celebrate it. It wasn’t only America that worked for the end of World War I, it was a joint effort from several other countries, so of course, they recognize the date too.
While some countries celebrate theirs on 11 November, and others do not.
For example, Canada and Australia celebrate theirs on 11 November while Great Britain celebrates theirs on the Sunday closest to 11 November.
Canada’s celebration is tagged “Remembrance Day,” and it is like Veteran Day. The difference is that its citizens wear red poppy flowers to honor their war dead. Australia, on the other hand, celebrates it like Memorial Day in the US.
Great Britain calls theirs “Remembrance Day” but observes it with parades, services, and two minutes of silence in London to honor those who lost their lives in war.
5. US Veteran Day Tradition
In the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held each Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington National Cemetery, while they hold parades and other celebrations in states around the country.
Now that we have settled on the facts about Veteran Day, here is a list of where the events will take place. There will be several events to observe Veterans Day in Massachusetts on Thursday, 11 November 2021.
- In Boston, Governor Charlie Baker will lead a ceremony at Faneuil Hall at 10 a.m.
- The towns of Abington, Rockland, and Whitman will hold their annual Tri-Town Veterans Day parade, starting at 10 a.m. on Central Street in Abington in front of the police station.
- North Andover will hold a Veterans Day ceremony at 10 a.m. in Patriots Park on Main Street with Congressman Seth Moulton.
- The American Legion Nonantum Post 440 on California Street in Newton will make care packages for troops starting at 10 a.m.
- Weymouth will have a parade starting at 10:15 a.m. in Jackson Square.
- In Foxboro, New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft will host 30 Vietnam veterans and Gold Star wives and families for a special pinning ceremony at Gillette Stadium at 10:30 a.m.
- Quincy will hold a parade starting at 10:30 a.m. at Quincy High School’s Russell Park.
- At 10:45 a.m. in Randolph, veterans and color guards will march to the War Memorial in Crawford Square.
- Worcester’s Veterans Day parade begins at 11 a.m. at the corner of Lancaster and Grove streets.
- New Bedford will have a parade, starting at the intersection of Rockdale Avenue and Union Street, in Buttonwood Park, at 11 a.m.
- Brookline will hold a ceremony to honor veterans at the World War Monument at the Town Hall on Washington Street at 11 a.m.
- American Legion Post 133 will lay a wreath at the memorial at Wayland Town Hall at 11 a.m., honoring Wayland veterans from the Revolutionary War to the present.
- The town of Dighton will hold a ceremony at Veterans Memorial Park on Somerset Avenue at 11 a.m.
- Senator Elizabeth Warren and Boston Mayor-elect Michelle Wu will join the Puerto Rican Veterans Monument Square Association for their Veterans Day celebration on Washington Street in the South End at 1 p.m.
- Fall River’s Veterans Day parade will start at 1 p.m. heading west down Bedford Street to Battleship Cove.
- Veterans will be honored at a ceremony at the Ahavath Torah Congregation on Central Street in Stoughton at 2 p.m.
- Salisbury will hold a Veterans Day ceremony at 2 p.m. on the town common on Elm Street with Congressman Seth Moulton.
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