Veterans Day History

Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11, and pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country during war or peacetime.

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day'' in 1919, on the first anniversary of the end of fighting in World War I. It became a federal holiday in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, President Eisenhower changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day in 1954 and broadened the holiday to be a celebration of all veterans. 

November 11 is observed in several other countries as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which honors the memory of those who have died in service to their country. Since the date holds broad historical and cultural significance, in 1978 President Ford declared that Veterans Day would always be observed on November 11, unless it falls on a weekend day. If November 11 falls on a Saturday or Sunday, the federal government observes the holiday on the previous Friday or following Monday, respectively.

How is Veterans Day different from Memorial Day? Memorial Day is the United States’ day of remembrance. Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the U.S. military. It is observed on the last Monday in May. Veterans Day honors all veterans, with an emphasis on celebrating those living veterans among us.

Are you a veteran or supporter of veterans? The Veterans Employee Resource Group is open to all employees, veteran or civilian.