Veterans Day is observed annually on Nov. 11, regardless of which day of the week it falls on. This year Veterans Day is on Saturday, Nov. 11.
It’s a holiday honoring all service members.
Nov. 11, 1918, was considered the end of World War I, “the war to end all wars,” and was called Armistice Day.
World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, but the fighting actually ended seven months before then, when the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Congress in 1926 officially recognized Nov. 11 as an official holiday to honor veterans of World War I.
After World War II and the Korean War, veterans’ organizations urged Congress to broaden the meaning of the holiday to celebrate all veterans. On June 1, 1954, Congress amended the holiday by changing it from Armistice Day to Veterans Day, honoring American veterans of all wars.
What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?
While both holidays honor those who have died serving the country, Memorial Day and Veterans Day differ in purpose.
Memorial Day, observed annually on the last Monday in May, honors all service members who have died.
Veterans Day was established to honor all who served in the U.S. Armed Forces during World War I and has been expanded to honor all service members — dead or alive — for their sacrifices, according to the Department of Defense.
How is Veterans Day celebrated?
The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia.
A wreath is laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier followed by a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
Veterans Day is celebrated in communities nationwide, with parades or other celebrations honoring service members.
In Rock County, there are several ways to honor veterans.
•Luverne Elementary School student council will host the annual Veterans Day open house from 8:30 to 10:30 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in the school commons.
•Hills-Beaver Beaver Secondary School is the site for the annal Veterans Day Program at 9 a.m. Friday, Nov. 10. Music and readings will be performed by H-BC student.
•Luverne Public Schools will host a Veterans Day ceremony at 1:45 p.m. Friday, Nov. 10, in the performing arts center. Guest speaker is Lt. Commander Deborah Luethje Mariya (U.S. Navy retired). The Rock County Color Guard and Luverne High School band and choir will participate.
•The Hardwick American Legion’s annual Veterans Day banquet will be Saturday, Nov. 11, in the Memorial Hall in Hardwick. Social half hour begins at 6 p.m. with the dinner at 6:30 p.m. Guest speaker is retired SFC Chris Hein. Music is by Susan Skattum and Susan Schneekloth.
•The Herreid Military Museum will host a Veterans Day open house from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 11, honoring veterans of all military branches.