Thursday’s thirteen: Veterans Day.
Today (well technically yesterday) across our country, Americans will pause to honor the men and women who have served and are serving in this country’s military forces.
1. Veterans Day was originally observed as Armistice Day in honor of the end of WWI fighting on 11/11/1918 at 11am.
2. Armistice Day (now Veterans Day) was observed as a yearly moment of silence at 11/11 at 11am. It became an official holiday and day off for most folks in 1938 and in 1954 was expanded to include all US veterans not just those who served in WWI.
3. Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is usually observed on November 11.
4. World War I ended 91 years ago, in 1918, and only one American soldier is still alive, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs. His name is Frank Woodruff Buckles, born in 1901 in Missouri. He went on to also serve in World War II, where he was captured by the Japanese and spent three years in a prison camp before being rescued.
5. The last surviving female WWI veteran died in 2007. She lived to be 109 years old, and was buried with full military honors.
6. Today in America, we have fewer than than 2 million World War II veterans still with us. We are losing these men and women at the rate of approximately 11,000-12,000 a week. Unfortunately, in another five years, we will have lost most of the “greatest generation.”
7. 33% of living US veterans (7.8 million) served during the Vietnam war.
8. 3.4 million Veterans are living with a service-related disability.
9. Veteran: one who had served in the armed forces.
10. Veteran’s day is the day that celebrates in memory of the Armistice, ending World War I in 1918. It honors the veterans of the armed forces.
11. November 11, Veterans Day is celebrated in the U.S and in France. Called Armistice Day in Belgium, French Guiana, and Tahiti. And Remembrance Day in Canada and Burma.
12. When knights in armor rode past their king, they raised their visors to identify themselves. This custom eventually became the military salute.
13. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them. –John Fitzgerald Kennedy