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Veterans Day Facts For Kids




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Calling all curious minds! Veterans Day is a special day set aside to honor and appreciate the brave men and women who have served in the military. But do you know the fascinating facts behind this important holiday? From its origins to the significance of the poppy flower, this article will take you on a journey to explore all the interesting Veterans Day facts that will leave you amazed and grateful for our veterans’ sacrifices. So get ready to discover the intriguing history and traditions surrounding this day as we pay tribute to our heroic servicemen and servicewomen. Let’s dive right in!

History of Veterans Day

Origins of Veterans Day

Veterans Day, originally known as Armistice Day, has its origins in the aftermath of World War I. The armistice, which was a temporary cessation of hostilities, was signed between the Allied powers and Germany on November 11, 1918. This day marked the end of the war, and it was celebrated as Armistice Day to honor the soldiers who fought and died during the conflict.

Armistice Day

Armistice Day was first observed in the United States on November 11, 1919, one year after the end of World War I. It was a day set aside to remember and honor the veterans of the war. People would participate in parades, hold religious services, and pause for moments of silence at 11:00 a.m. to commemorate the armistice signing.

Becoming Veterans Day

In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, the name of the holiday was officially changed to Veterans Day to honor the veterans of all U.S. wars. President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law, making Veterans Day a national holiday.

The significance of November 11th

November 11th holds significant historical importance as the day when major hostilities of both World War I and World War II ended. This date serves as a reminder of the bravery, sacrifice, and patriotism displayed by the men and women who served their country in times of war.

Honoring Veterans

Parades and Celebrations

Parades and celebrations are a common way to honor veterans on Veterans Day. Communities come together to organize and participate in parades, where veterans, active-duty military personnel, and their families are recognized and applauded for their service. These vibrant displays of patriotism create a sense of unity and gratitude within the community.

Symbols of Patriotism

On Veterans Day, symbols of patriotism are often displayed to show appreciation for the sacrifices made by veterans. The American flag serves as a prominent symbol, with many households and businesses proudly flying the flag. Additionally, yellow ribbons, which represent support for deployed military personnel, are often seen tied around trees and lampposts.

Flag Etiquette

Proper flag etiquette is important on Veterans Day and should be observed with respect. It is customary to raise the flag to full staff at sunrise and lower it to half-staff until noon. After noon, the flag should be raised to full staff as a symbol of the nation’s resolve to never forget the sacrifices made by its veterans.

Moment of Silence

A moment of silence at 11:00 a.m. is a tradition observed on Veterans Day. This brief period of reflection provides an opportunity to honor the fallen soldiers, pay tribute to those who served, and express gratitude for their dedication and bravery.

Gifts and Thank You Notes

Giving gifts and writing thank you notes are simple yet heartfelt ways to show appreciation to veterans. Children often create handmade cards and write messages of gratitude to veterans, expressing their admiration and thanking them for their service. These gestures of kindness can have a profound impact and make veterans feel valued and appreciated.

Veterans Day Facts For Kids

Understanding Veterans

What is a Veteran?

A veteran is someone who has served in the armed forces of their country, typically during times of war or conflict. These individuals have undergone military training, served in various roles within the military, and have made significant sacrifices to protect their country and its values.

Types of Veterans

There are different types of veterans based on their duration and nature of service. Some veterans serve during peacetime, while others serve in times of war or conflict. Some may have served in combat roles, while others may have served in support or administrative positions. Regardless of their specific role, all veterans have contributed to the defense and security of their nation.

Military Branches

The United States has five main military branches: the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. Each branch has its unique mission and responsibilities, but all work together to protect the nation’s interests and ensure its security. Veterans can come from any of these branches, with each one having a distinct culture and role within the military.

Service and Sacrifice

Veterans embody the ideals of service and sacrifice. They willingly put their lives on the line, leaving their families and homes behind, to protect their country and preserve the freedoms that we often take for granted. Their commitment to duty and their willingness to make personal sacrifices are deserving of our utmost respect and gratitude.

Veterans Day Around the World

Remembrance Day

Remembrance Day is a holiday observed in several countries around the world, primarily in the Commonwealth of Nations. It is a day to honor the members of the armed forces who lost their lives in the line of duty. Remembrance Day is observed on November 11th, and ceremonies are held at war memorials and military cemeteries to pay tribute to fallen soldiers.

Armistice Day

Armistice Day is observed in various countries, including France and Belgium, to commemorate the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. Similar to Veterans Day, Armistice Day is a time to remember and honor those who served in the war and recognize their contributions to peace.

Anzac Day

Anzac Day is a national day of remembrance in Australia and New Zealand. It is observed on April 25th each year, commemorating the anniversary of the first major military action fought by Australian and New Zealand forces during World War I. Anzac Day is a time to honor the service and sacrifice of all those who have served in wars, conflicts, and peacekeeping missions.

Veterans Day Facts For Kids

Famous Veterans

George Washington

George Washington, the first President of the United States, was also a distinguished military leader. He served as the Commander-in-Chief of the Continental Army during the American Revolutionary War and played a pivotal role in the nation’s fight for independence. Washington’s military leadership and dedication to the cause of freedom make him a renowned veteran in American history.

Abraham Lincoln

Abraham Lincoln, widely regarded as one of America’s greatest presidents, served as the 16th President of the United States during the tumultuous period of the American Civil War. While he did not have a military background, Lincoln’s leadership during the war and efforts to preserve the Union solidify his status as a notable veteran of his time.

Dwight D. Eisenhower

Dwight D. Eisenhower, before becoming the 34th President of the United States, played a crucial role in World War II as the Supreme Commander of the Allied Expeditionary Forces in Europe. Under his leadership, the Allies successfully executed the D-Day invasion, which ultimately led to the defeat of Nazi Germany.

John F. Kennedy

John F. Kennedy, the 35th President of the United States, served in the U.S. Navy during World War II. He commanded a patrol torpedo boat in the Pacific theater and demonstrated remarkable bravery when his boat was sunk by a Japanese destroyer. Kennedy’s military service exemplifies the courage and dedication that veterans embody.

National Observances

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, located in Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, serves as a symbol of respect and remembrance for all unidentified soldiers who made the ultimate sacrifice. On Veterans Day, it is customary to visit the tomb and pay homage to these unknown heroes. The Changing of the Guard ceremony, where soldiers guard the tomb with utmost precision and reverence, adds to the solemnity of the occasion.

National Veterans Day Ceremony

The National Veterans Day Ceremony is held at the Arlington National Cemetery each year on Veterans Day. This ceremony, attended by veterans, military officials, and the general public, involves speeches, wreath-laying, and musical performances to honor and express gratitude to all veterans for their service.

Veterans Day Poster Contest

The Veterans Day Poster Contest is an annual competition organized by the Veterans Day National Committee to encourage students to express their appreciation for veterans through art. Children from across the country submit creative posters that reflect the theme of honoring veterans. The winning poster becomes the official Veterans Day poster and is prominently displayed throughout the United States.

Veterans Day Facts For Kids

Supporting Veterans

Charitable Organizations

There are numerous charitable organizations dedicated to supporting veterans and their families. These organizations provide a range of services, including mental health support, housing assistance, educational scholarships, and job placement programs. Donating to these organizations or volunteering your time can make a meaningful impact in the lives of veterans who may require additional support.


Volunteering at local veterans’ organizations or hospitals is a wonderful way to give back to those who have served. By offering your time and skills, you can provide companionship, support, and assistance to veterans who may be facing challenges or undergoing rehabilitation. Your presence and willingness to help can make a significant difference in their lives.

Care Packages

Sending care packages to active-duty military personnel and veterans is a thoughtful gesture that can brighten their day. Including items such as toiletries, non-perishable snacks, books, and letters of appreciation can bring comfort and let them know that their service is valued and remembered.

Veterans Health

Veterans often face unique health challenges resulting from their military service. It is important to support veterans’ access to quality healthcare by advocating for policies that prioritize their wellbeing. Additionally, offering assistance and understanding to veterans who may be struggling with mental health issues can help create a supportive environment where they can seek the care they need.

Veterans Day Facts

Poppy Flower Tradition

The tradition of wearing a red poppy flower on Veterans Day originated from the poem “In Flanders Fields,” written by Lieutenant Colonel John McCrae. The red poppy became a symbol of remembrance for those who died in war, and it is often worn to honor and show support for veterans.

Changing Date Controversy

Veterans Day was originally observed on November 11th, regardless of the day of the week. However, in 1968, the Uniform Monday Holiday Act was passed, moving several federal holidays to specific Mondays to create long weekends. This change meant that Veterans Day would sometimes be celebrated on a different date. In 1975, due to public outcry and recognition of the historical significance of November 11th, the date was restored to its original fixed day.

Statue of Liberty as a Sign of Freedom

The Statue of Liberty, a prominent symbol of freedom and democracy, often holds a special significance on Veterans Day. Many veterans and their families see the statue as a reminder of the sacrifices made in the defense of liberty and the values that the United States stands for.

Oldest Veterans Day Celebration

The oldest Veterans Day celebration in the United States takes place in Birmingham, Alabama. The city’s parade, which began in 1947, has become an annual tradition that attracts thousands of participants and spectators. The event showcases military vehicles, marching bands, and various organizations who come together to honor and recognize veterans.

Veterans Day Facts For Kids

Veterans Day in Schools

Educational Activities

Schools often incorporate educational activities into their curriculum to teach students about Veterans Day and its significance. This can include classroom discussions, guest speakers, and assignments focused on the history of Veterans Day, the military, and the bravery of veterans.

Assemblies and Guest Speakers

Assemblies and guest speakers are common features of Veterans Day celebrations in schools. Veterans are invited to share their personal experiences and stories with students, providing them with a firsthand account of military service. These encounters deepen students’ understanding and appreciation for veterans’ sacrifice and inspire them to respect the values represented by Veterans Day.

Writing Thank You Letters

Writing thank you letters is a meaningful way for students to express gratitude to veterans. Teachers often guide their students in crafting heartfelt letters that convey appreciation and admiration for the veterans’ service. These letters are then delivered to local veterans’ organizations or individual veterans, fostering a connection between the younger generation and those who have served.

Recognizing Local Veterans

Schools may also organize events to recognize and honor local veterans in their communities. This can involve inviting veterans to a special breakfast or luncheon, presenting them with certificates of appreciation, or creating displays showcasing photographs and stories of local veterans. These initiatives provide an opportunity for students to interact with veterans directly and express their appreciation in person.

Holidays Honoring Veterans

Memorial Day

Memorial Day, observed on the last Monday in May, is a national holiday dedicated to honoring and remembering the military personnel who died while serving in the United States Armed Forces. It is a time to reflect on the sacrifices made by these brave individuals and to visit memorials and cemeteries to pay tribute to their memory.

Armed Forces Day

Armed Forces Day is celebrated annually on the third Saturday in May. This day recognizes and honors the men and women currently serving in the U.S. military. It serves as an opportunity for the public to show appreciation for the active-duty military personnel and their dedication to protecting the nation.

In conclusion, Veterans Day is a significant and cherished holiday that allows us to pay tribute to the veterans who have selflessly served and protected our country. Through parades, symbols of patriotism, and acts of gratitude, we can show our appreciation for their sacrifices. Understanding the experiences and unique challenges faced by veterans helps us empathize with their journey. Veterans Day is not only observed in the United States but also recognized in various forms around the world. By supporting veterans through charitable organizations, volunteering, and advocating for their well-being, we can give back to those who have given so much. It is important to educate ourselves and future generations about the importance of Veterans Day and the sacrifices behind it, as well as to honor veterans throughout the year through various means. Veterans Day is just one of the holidays that recognizes the service of our military personnel, with Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day also holding great significance. Let us remember and honor our veterans, for their dedication and bravery have shaped our nation’s history and safeguarded our freedoms.

Veterans Day Facts For Kids

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