History of Veterans Day shows holiday has specific purpose, historical significance

Veterans Day is about more than sales on appliances and free food for members of the military. The occasion has a very specific reason for occurring when it does and a clearly defined purpose.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day -- originally called Armistice Day -- began as a celebration of peace.

Although World War I officially ended in June of 1919 with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, fighting actually ended with a 1918 armistice that went into effect at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11.

The following November, President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11 a commemoration of Armistice Day, and a 1938 act of Congress made Nov. 11 a legal holiday.

Armistice Day was originally a day to honor WWI veterans, but following WWII and the Korean conflict, the word "Armistice" was replaced by the word "Veterans," to recognize all members of the U.S. military.

Veterans Day is sometimes confused with Memorial Day.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, Memorial Day is specifically for remembering and honoring deceased military personnel who died serving their country, especially those who died during a battle or as a result of battle wounds.

Veterans Day, on the other hand, is meant to thank and honor all members of the military, whether they served during times of war or times of peace.

"In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served -- not only those who died -- have sacrificed and done their duty," according to va.gov.

To that end, there are several businesses that honor members of the military on Veterans Day. Click here for a list of local deals: http://bit.ly/19GXPqo

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