Five Interesting Facts About Veterans Day
Today, we observe Veterans Day, an official United States holiday which honors men and women who have served in our armed forces.
A lot of people get Veterans Day and Memorial Day mixed up, so here's something to help you remember the difference between the two- Memorial Day is for remembering those who died in military service. Veterans Day is to honor all veterans, both living and deceased whether they served in wartime or in peacetime.
Here are six other interesting things you might not know about Veterans Day.
According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, that figure includes 1.7 million veterans from World War Two, 2.2 million veterans from Korea, 7.3 million veterans from Vietnam, 5 million veterans from Afghanistan and Iraq, and 500,000 veterans from the Persian Gulf War.
November 11th, 1919 marked the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Armistice Day was originally created to honor the veterans of World War I, but today the holiday honors all veterans from all wars. Congress made Armistice Day a national holiday in 1938 and then renamed it Veterans Day in 1954.
Irving Berlin wrote the song "God Bless America" in 1918, but it would take an astounding 20 years before he changed the lyrics and turned it into the version we all know and love today. The song actually debuted as part of an Armistice Day radio special on November 10th, which was the day before Veterans Day.
In 1918, a woman in Georgia named Moina Belle Michael read a John McCrae poem called "In Flanders Fields", and she was inspired her to wear red poppies. Now, Veterans all over the country can be found selling poppies on Veterans Day. The poem Michael read includes the line, "In Flanders fields the poppies blow / Between the crosses row on row."
The motto is, quote, "To care for him who shall have borne the battle." That quote is from the final paragraph of Lincoln's second inaugural address.