The Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

By Timothy F. Sun, November 9, 2014

There are almost 20 million veterans currently living in the United States, and almost 12 percent of Pennsylvania’s adult population has served in an American war. (Source: 2013 American Community Survey one-year esimates)

The holiday celebrated every November 11 was originally called Armistice Day (after the end of the First World War), and was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 under President Dwight Eisenhower (himself a veteran) and the 83rd Congress. (The original 1938 act dedicating Armistice Day is not viewable online, but is available to read in print at the Government Publications Department.) Veterans Day has been described as a “national peace holiday,” not “devoted to the exaltation of glories achieved in war but, rather, to an emphasis upon those blessings which are associated with the peacetime activities of mankind.”

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And you can find more statistics on America’s current veterans from the U.S. Census Bureau’s “Facts for Features.”


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