We’re set to again honor the brave men and women who have served our country. Since 1919, the U.S. has marked Veterans Day to celebrate the sacrifices and commitment of those who serve. A federal holiday, Veterans Day features parades, memorials and scores of other activities in communities and cities across the country.
Veteran’s Day Festivities
Local municipalities and even schools and colleges typically hold parades, raffles and other public events. Primary schools schedule music programs, arts, fundraisers, memorials, class assignments and more. Veteran organizations, such as the Department of Veteran Affairs, also have programs planned throughout the country. Observers can look up information about the VA department’s regional Veterans Day sites. Also, see this full listing of parades.
New York City Veteran’s Day Parade
People looking to experience the day outside of their hometown can go to the 91st anniversary of the New York City Veterans Day Parade. The United War Veterans Council hosts the nation’s largest event of its kind. The parade began Nov. 11, 1919, a year after World War I ended. Thousands of New Yorkers gather at Fifth Street, marching past Rockefeller Center and the Empire State Building. In 2009, hundreds of high school and college bands performed in the parade. Organizers expect a similarly large turnout for 2010. It is a high-energy event with a serious touch. The NYC Veterans Day Band of Pride will commemorate victims of 9/11 with a performance in Times Square on Nov. 10 and Nov. 11. For more info visit this website on the New York parade.
The federal holiday is also known as Armistice Day. The first Armistice Day occurred in 1919, but it did not become official until the May 13, 1938. At first, Veterans Day only memorialized service members of WWI. Congress amended the original act concerning Armistice Day in June 1954, making the holiday a day to honor all veterans. Flag salutes and hoisting ceremonies, speeches, music performances and much more characterize the day. Visit the VA’s website for more history on Veterans Day.
The Staff at VA Benefit Blog would like to wish a Happy Veterans Day to all of those that have served!
Photo thanks to Trey Ratcliff under creative common license on Flickr.