Millions of Americans have served in our military in a variety of capacities. It’s estimated that there are approximately 23 million veterans in the United States. Veterans Day, however, is a holiday many people don’t know much about. The following information discusses the history of Veterans Day and some of the benefits and discounts Veterans can receive.
History of Veterans Day
Every November 11th Americans celebrate Veterans Day. According to historians, Veterans Day came to be in 1918 when on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month a ceasefire was announced between Germany and the Allied Nations. The following year this date was celebrated as Armistice Day. A year after that, an unkown American soldier from WW I was buried in the tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Washington D.C. to celebrate the holiday. Nationally, Veterans Day is still celebrated each year on November 11th at exactly 11 am at Arlington Cemetary in Washington D.C. while cities and towns across the nation celebrate with parades and various activities.
United States President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that November 11, 1919 would be an official holiday honoring our veterans. But it wasn’t until 1938 that “Armistice Day” became a federal holiday, and not until after World War II that it was renamed Veterans Day. Congress amended and President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation making the name officially Veterans Day on June 1, 1954. From 1971 to 1977 Veterans Day was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October. In 1978 President Gerald Ford changed the date back to the original date of November 11th.
Veterans Day is sometimes confused with Memorial Day. The difference is that Memorial Day honors military men and women who died during battles or as a result of injuries received during a battle. While those who have passed away are also remembered during Veterans Day, it is a day specially set aside to honor living veterans from all wars and all branches of our military. Other countries around the world celebrate their own version of Veterans Day. Australia, Canada, and Great Britain all celebrate Remembrance Day. In Great Britain the day is celebrated on the Sunday closest to November 11th.
Special Benefits for Veterans
Many companies and restaurants throughout the country give special benefits and discounts to honor our veterans. Applebees Restaurants will have several free meals that veterans can chose from on November 11th from open to close. Veterans should either be in full uniform or present a valid veteran’s identification to receive the meal. Menchies Frozen Yogurt, Hurricane Grill & Wings, and Krispy Kreme Doughnut are a few others among many establishments offering specials for veterans on November 11th. Some restaurants chose other dates within that general time period to offer specials for veterans.
Besides restaurants, there are other discounts available to veterans. Both Lowe’s and Home Depot offer a 10 percent discount to active and retired military veterans and their families. There are specifics regarding the discount and the purchase limits for each store. There are even military discounts for certain zoos and aquariums. Military.com is a website that provides information regarding discounts for restaurants, retailers, travel, and recreation. The militarywallet.com is another website that offers information about discounts for veterans.