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Explained: What is Veterans Day, why does the US celebrate it on Nov 11?

Veterans day is celebrated every year in November in the United States to honour and show respect towards veterans who served in its armed forces both in wartime and in peace.

By: Explained Desk | New Delhi |
Updated: November 15, 2020 12:09:00 pm
American flags decorate the gravesite of Carl Lawrence Theodore Carlson, a technician in World War II, in Fort Logan National Cemetery Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Sheridan, Colo. (AP)

US President Donald Trump on Wednesday will visit the Arlington National Cemetery to mark Veterans Day, in his first public appearance after the 2020 US election was called for his Democratic rival Joe Biden, Reuters reported.

What is Veterans Day?

Veterans day is celebrated every year in November in the United States to honour and show respect towards veterans who served in its armed forces both in wartime and in peace. According to the US Department of Veteran Affairs, the Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls. The days is “largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.”

A field of flags fly in honor of those who served in advance of Veterans Day at the green at Fort Square, Tuesday, Nov. 10, 2020, in Quincy, Mass. (AP)

The day is a celebration to honour America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

What is the history of Veterans Day?

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the day marks the end of the first world war when an armistice was signed between German and allied forces on November 11. A resolution was passed in the Congress in 1926 to remember the day “with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.” The day was named Armistice Day.

The DVA states, Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honour veterans of the first world war. But in 1954, after the second world war had required the mobilization of soldiers, sailors, marines and airmen in the nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” The Congress did that at the urging of the veterans’ service organizations.

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What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

Memorial Day is observed for remembering all those personnel who died serving the armed forces particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honour all such personnel who served in the military – in wartime or peace.

Is Veterans Day celebrated in India?

Veterans day is celebrated in India along the lines of Army Day on January 15. Apart from the US, other countries too celebrate Veterans Day, but with different names. Canada and Australia observe “Remembrance Day” on November 11, and Great Britain observes “Remembrance Day” on the Sunday nearest to November 11.

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