World War I did not officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, but seven months earlier on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, an armistice was signed to end the fighting between the Allied Nations and Germany in what was then called “the war to end all wars.”
In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day when he said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
In 1954 a law was passed to amend the law that created Armistice Date by changing the name to Veterans Day so that November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Veterans Day is an official government holiday; government offices along with many schools are closed. In many places in the U.S., the day is marked by parades and church services, the flag is hung at half mast, and a period of silence lasting two minutes may be held at 11:00 AM.
Veterans Day is focused on honoring and showing pride in veterans who still live among us. Memorial Day is a day to honor those who gave their lives while serving in the military. Arlington National Cemetery holds memorial services on both Veterans Day and Memorial Day. According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, as of 2020 there are 325,574 living American veterans who served in World War II. There are about 500,000 Korean War vets, 610,000 Vietnam War vets, and 2.5 million post-9/11 vets who served in Kuwait, Iraq and Afghanistan. Eighty-three percent of vets are male, and 17% are female.
Life is not easy for many veterans. Eighty percent of them spent time in overseas combat zones. Sixty percent are under the age of 34. Twenty-two veterans commit suicide daily. Thirty percent have disabilities as a result of their service. As many as 20% of veterans have been diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder. Twenty-two percent are diagnosed with depressive disorder. Only one-third of vets that need mental health care have sought treatment. The vast majority of veterans joined the military to serve our country and nearly all of them are proud of their service.
Our veterans need your support and understanding. Many of them feel that the rest of America does not understand or doesn’t even think about the trauma they have experienced. Be thoughtful and be kind to vets; they will appreciate our support.
Semper Fi Heating & Cooling is a veteran-owned company that extends 20% discounts to veterans and their families. As a company, Semper Fi Heating & Cooling considers Veterans Day to be a sacred time to proudly honor those who have served.