The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Published 12:00 am Monday, November 14, 2005

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

Email newsletter signup

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday – – a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as &uot;Armistice Day.&uot;

The Uniforms Holiday Bill (Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250)) was signed on June 28, 1968, and was intended to insure three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day.

The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971. It was quite apparent that the commemoration of this day was a matter of historic and patriotic significance to a great number of our citizens, and so on September 20th, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-97 (89 Stat. 479), which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978.

24.9 million

The number of military veterans in the United States.

(From the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2004-2005.)

1.7 million

The number of veterans who are women.

(From the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2004-2005.)

9.7 million

The number of veterans who are age 65 or over.

(From the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2004-2005.)

2.4 million

The number of black veterans. Additionally, 1.1 million veterans are Hispanic; 272,000 are Asian; 159,000 are American Indian or Alaska native; and 30,000 are native Hawaiian and other Pacific islander.

8.2 million

Number of Vietnam-era veterans. Vietnam veterans account for more than 3-in-10 veterans, the largest share of any period of service. The next largest share of wartime veterans, 4.4 million or nearly 2-in-10, served during World War II. (From the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2004-2005.)


Percentage of Persian Gulf War veterans who are women. In contrast, women account for 5 percent of World War II vets, 3 percent of Vietnam vets and 2 percent of Korean War vets. (From the upcoming Statistical Abstract of the United States: 2004-2005.)


Number of veterans who served during both the Vietnam era and the Desert Storm era (August 1990 or later).

In addition, 429,000 veterans served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict.

143,000 served during three periods: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam conflict.

“The veterans of our military services have put their lives on the line to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. They have dedicated their lives to their country and deserve to be recognized for their commitment.”

Judd Gregg

“Brave rifles, veterans, you have been baptized in fire and blood and have come out steel!”

Winfield Scott

“We often take for granted the very things that most deserve our gratitude.”

Cynthia Ozick

“This nation will remain the land of the free only so long as it is the home of the brave.”

Elmer Davis

“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.”

Dick Cheney