How Did Veterans Day Begin?
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov. 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation in 1954 to change the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor those who served in all American wars. The day honors military veterans with parades and speeches across the nation. A national ceremony takes place at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
About Our Veterans
21.5 Million: The number of military veterans in the United States in 2011.
1.6 Million: The number of female veterans in 2011.
2.3 Million: The number of black veterans in 2011. Additionally, 1.2 million veterans were Hispanic; 264,695 were Asian; 153,223 were American Indian or Alaska Native; 27,469 were Native Hawaiian or Other Pacific Islander; and 17.2 million were non-Hispanic white. (The numbers for blacks, Asians, American Indians and Alaska Natives, Native Hawaiians and Other Pacific Islanders, and non-Hispanic whites cover only those reporting a single race.)
9.2 Million: The number of veterans 65 and older in 2011. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.8 million were younger than 35.
When They Served
7.5 Million: Number of Vietnam-era veterans in 2011: 5.1 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 1.8 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.4 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 5.4 million in peacetime only.
Source: 2011 American Community Survey
Where They Live
3: Number of states with 1 million or more veterans in 2011. These states were California (1.9 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.6 million).