The Meaning of Veterans Day

Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.  Veterans Day occurs on November 11th in the United States in commemoration of the Armistice that was put in place to end fighting prior to the official end of World War I; this occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans – living or dead – but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country during war or peacetime.

The military men and women who serve and protect the United States come from all walks of life. They are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and co-workers.  They are men and women, they represent a variety of ethnic and cultural backgrounds, and they are an important part of our communities.

Here are some interesting facts about veterans: (Information accurate as of 2018)

  • Veterans make up less than 10% of the adult population 
  • 18.2 million living veterans served during at least one war as of 2018
  • 9 percent of veterans are women
  • 3 million veterans have served in support of the war on terrorism
  • 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War
  • 2 million veterans served during the Korean War
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 495,000 were still alive in 2018
  • There are 1,525,400 veterans in Florida
  • Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the country – just behind California (1,681,730 veterans) and Texas (1,584,844 veterans)

Every veteran has a personal story about their military experience, why they served and what it means to them.  Veterans Day celebrates these individuals, their stories and their commitment to our country and our community. Join me on November 11th as we thank and celebrate the men and women who serve our country – past and present – as members of the United States Armed Forces.

To learn more about Veteran services offered through United Way of Broward County's MISSION UNITED click here.