On November 11, people all across the United States paid tribute to those who have served the country in the armed forces on Veterans Day.
While the day has similarities to Memorial Day, another holiday that honors the military, it is important to note the differences between the two days.
While both days are just as important, each day is dedicated to different people who served the United States. According to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day is meant to honor people in the military who died in service, especially those who died in battle or as a result of wounds that they sustain in a battle.
While those who made the ultimate sacrifice are still honored on Veterans Day, it is a day meant to celebrate all people who served in the military, including those still alive.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day is dedicated to all living veterans and showing that all veterans had made sacrifices for the country and helped the people, not just those who gave their lives.
Homes for Our Troops, a non-profit organization, also explained the different ways that people can celebrate each special day and pay tribute to the troops, such as going to services and laying flowers in cemeteries on Memorial Day.
For Veterans Day, the organization explained that people could volunteer at veterans' facilities and thank the veterans directly for their service, as it is one way to show appreciation.
The organization's website also notes that going to memorial services and decorating the graves of the veterans can also be done on Veterans Day.
November 11 is marked as a day to honor all veterans, and it has been the tradition since 1919. President Woodrow Wilson declared it as "Armistice Day" just a year after the Treaty of Versailles was signed, honoring veterans who served in the First World War.
In 1938, Congress approved an act that made the day national and declared it a legal holiday. In 1954, November 11 became a day to commemorate all veterans, not just those from The Great War, according to the U.S Department of Veterans Affairs.
In 1968, the "Uniform Holiday Bill" was signed, and it moved the date that Veterans Day was observed. The bill then decided that Memorial Day, Columbus Day, Washington's Birthday, and Veterans Day would all be celebrated on Mondays. This moved Veterans Day to the last Monday in October, but it was later returned to November 11 in 1975.
Meanwhile, Memorial Day started all the way back in the Civil War. Like Veterans Day, it has ties to World War I. It was first observed in 1866 in Waterloo, New York, and it was recognized by Congress in 1966, but national Decoration Day observances began in 1868, according to the Department of Veteran Affairs.
After World War I, Memorial Day was expanded from being a day to remember those who lost their lives during the Civil War to one that honors all Americans who lost their lives in war. It was declared as a national holiday in 1971.