Today is Veterans Day — a day to celebrate the brave men and women who serve and protect the U.S. There are approximately 23.2 million military veterans in the United States from all walks of life; they are our parents, children and grandparents.
Here are 7 facts about Veterans Day you might not know:
1. Originally, when known as Armistice Day, the day was meant to honor those who died in World War I. But, when it was amended in the early 1940s, the name was changed to honor all the veterans who have served in the U.S. military.
2. World War I formally ended on November 11th, at the 11th hour. It is also the 11th month.
3. Veterans Day is sometimes confused with Memorial Day, however, Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the military and Veterans Day honors all those who have served, both alive and deceased.
4. Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran from Alabama, conceived the idea in 1945 to honor all veterans on November 11th, not just those who lost their lives in World War I.
5. There are 23.2 million veterans living today.
6. In 1921, on November 11th, an American soldier was buried at Arlington Cemetery. His identity was unknown and as such, his gravesite is called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On November 11th, a ceremonial wreath is laid on the grave by the president or by a high-ranking member of the government.
7. In 2011, it was estimated that approximately 8.1% of veterans in the United States are women.
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