Veterans Day’s falling on Sunday will complicate local celebrations that conflict with local religious services, but national celebrations most often will continue apace, particularly the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, at 11:00 a.m. (in honor of the original armistice that ended World War I, “at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month”).
November 11 is Veterans Day in the U.S. – a federal holiday to honor all military personnel who have served the U.S. in all wars.
This is the first Veterans Day since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in December. The holiday this year is also a chance for Americans to thank the rapidly shrinking population of World War Two veterans.
The U.S. president places a wreath every Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.
Communities across America traditionally hold Veterans Day observances and ceremonies. Federal offices will be closed Monday in recognition of the holiday.
Veterans Day – originally called Armistice Day – was first observed in 1919. One year earlier, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations took effect.
Veterans Day honors all veterans of U.S. military service, living and dead. The U.S. flag should be flown at full staff for the day.
- Slide show of photos from the Department of Veterans Affairs, showing the Veterans Day 2011 ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery, with President Obama and Secretary Shinseki
- Teachers Guide for Veterans Day 2012 from the Department of Veterans Affairs (33 pages of good stuff, history and student projects; download it and save it for next year, use it throughout the year)
- Veterans Day Proclamation, from President Obama (presentation version from VA); White House website, text of proclamation
- Gallery of Veterans Day Posters from 1978 to 2012
- Veterans Day: A US Tradition (blogs.voanews.com)
- Veterans Day 2012 (cbsnews.com)
- Veterans Day Etiquette (thesurvivalplaceblog.com)
- Across US, Veterans Day commemorations under way (sacbee.com)
- Library of Congress Veterans History Project
- Longer VA history of Veterans Day
- “Honoring those who served and lived to tell the tale,” (bouyedup.wordpress.com)