US Observes Veterans Day

The United States observes its Veterans Day holiday Thursday honoring those who have served in the country’s military. 

The holiday is marked with ceremonies and parades in areas across the country. 

Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin is due to lay a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, a historic monument dedicated to honor U.S. service members whose remains are unidentified or are missing.  

This year marks the 100th anniversary of the tomb that is located at Arlington National Cemetery, outside of Washington. 

The holiday became a national observance in 1926. At that time, it was known as Armistice Day, commemorating Germany’s surrender of World War I on November 11, 1918. 

Congress changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954, and the day now honors any U.S. military veteran, not just those who have fought in war. It is separate from the Memorial Day holiday in May, which honors those who died in military service.   

The United States has about 18 million veterans, according to U.S. census data.