FORT BELVOIR, Virginia –
Veterans Day is a well-known holiday often confused with Memorial Day. The annual observance pays tribute to all American veterans – living and dead – but is mainly a time to thank those still alive for their sacrifices. Memorial Day, celebrated in May, honors men and women who died while serving.
Originally called Armistice Day, Veterans Day occurs on Nov. 11, marking the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I. The name and intent officially changed in 1954 to commemorate veterans of all wars.
Many people think the holiday is Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day, but it’s actually Veterans Day because the event doesn’t belong to a single veteran or group of veterans. Rather, it’s a day to appreciate and thank them.
The observance isn’t unique to America. Allies like Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada celebrate similar holidays on Nov. 11 to honor their veterans.