Veterans Day is intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military (U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard) - in wartime and in peace. It's not to be confused with Memorial Day (celebrated in May), which honors those who died in service.
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as Armistice Day to remind Americans of the tragedies of war. This was one year following the signing of the armistice that ended World War I (11 a.m. on November 11, 1918). The day became a federal holiday in 1938.
Great Britain, France, and other countries celebrate November 11th as Armistice Day. Canada celebrates Remembrance Day on this same date.
During World War I, Walt Disney served as a Red Cross ambulance driver. During World War II, Disney Studios produced over 90,000 feet of training film to train the Navy's sailors on navigation tactics.
In 1954, Congress changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all United States Veterans.
A National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at 11 a.m. at Arlington National Cemetery. The traditional event is held at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to commemorate not only the end of World War I, but also to honor all of those members of each of the military who lost their lives while serving their country.
Looking for a family activity for Veterans Day?
Write a thank-you letter to a veteran or current member of the armed forces or create a care package to send overseas. These could be for a family member, a friend or someone you’ve never met.
Organizations like A Million Thanks and Operation Gratitude make it easy to send letters and care packages to men and women in the military.
Both activities are fun, hands-on ways to make Veterans Day meaningful for kids of all ages.