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Veterans Day will take place on Nov. 11.

(REUTERS/Kevin Lamarque)

“Thank you for your service.”

American veterans hear these words on Saturday, as a tribute for ex-service members have roles in the occasion of the Veterans Day.

Not sure what Veterans Day is? Read on for a look at the holiday and the history of the occasion.

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“While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the army in wartime or in peacetime,” the Department of Veterans Affairs says.

It explains the holiday “is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to emphasize the fact that all those who served-not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.”

Memorial Day, the VA says, is meant to honor those who have died while serving.

What is the history behind the holiday?

The roots of Veterans Day for almost 100 years.

Fighting during the first world war stopped on Nov. 11, 1918 due to a truce between the Germans and the Allies, the VA notes. Nov. 11 was commemorated as Armistice day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, it adds.

A resolution passed by Congress in 1926, according to the federal agency, called on Jan. 11 to be remembered every year, “with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”

In 1938, Armistice day was officially a legal holiday, the VA says.

Many American soldiers who lost their lives during the second world WAR and the Korean War. In the wake of these wars, Armistice day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.


In 1968 there was a law that for Veterans Day to be observed on the fourth Monday in October beginning in 1971. The change is part of a movement to give federal employees several three-day holiday weekend, the Navy History and Heritage Command blog The Sextant says online.

But in 1971, two states observed Veterans Day on Nov. 11 instead, The Sextant says, adding that over time, other states did the same.

President Gerald Ford signed a bill in 1975 that pushed the Veterans Day back to November. 11, with the changes that take place in 1978.

Ford said in a statement that he felt “the restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 will help preserve in the hearts and lives of all Americans the spirit of patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good symbolized by this very special day.”

What should I know?

Some in the U.S. eight Veterans Day with parades, such as the upcoming will take place Saturday in New York City.

There will also be a wreath laying ceremony on Saturday morning at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Va.

Many restaurants and businesses are also offering special promotions for veterans that they can take advantage of.

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