This Saturday, November 11th, is Veterans Day. Most people know that Veterans Day is a national holiday to honor past and present service members but do you know the history of the holiday?
The significance of the date of November 11th has its roots in World War I. Although “The Great War” officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, fighting actually ceased in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11th) in 1918. The following year, President Wilson proclaimed the date as Armistice Day as a day of reflection and gratitude for the sacrifices made during the war. The original intent of the holiday was to celebrate with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m.
Armistice Day is still observed by several countries that were involved in WWI. So, how did Armistice Day turn into Veterans Day in the U.S.? Read on to find out.
Since Armistice Day was originally devoted to events specific to WWI, it became necessary to evolve into a more inclusive holiday with the additional conflicts in which the U.S. was involved. These conflicts included WWII and the Korean War. Armistice Day was officially renamed to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954. Later that year, President Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation which stated: “In order insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, there were 18.8 million veterans in the U.S. in 2015. This represents about 6% of the current U.S. population. A veteran is defined in the federal law as any person who served honorably on active duty in the armed forces of the United States with discharges marked “general and under honorable conditions.” Veteran-owned business firms comprise about 7.5% of all U.S. firms. There were three states with more than one million veterans as of 2015. These states were California (1.6M), Texas (1.5M) and Florida (1.5M).
Greer Enterprises, LLC proudly supports our nations veterans. In fact, nearly 17% of our current employees are U.S. military veterans. We would like to send a sincere “Thank You” to all of those that have served this country.
Be sure to honor a veteran this week!