Nov. 11 is Veteran’s Day, a U.S. holiday that stretches back to the end of World War I and commemorates the nation’s thousands of combat veterans who fought in the service of their country.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War, then known as “the Great War.”
The day was commemorated as Armistice Day the following year, and was designated a national day of thanksgiving and prayer in 1926, becoming a national holiday in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.
There are 9.2 million veterans 65 and older in 2008. At the other end of the age spectrum, 1.9 million were younger than 35.
The number of Vietnam-era veterans as of 2008 is 7.9 million. Thirty-three percent of all living veterans served during this time (1964-1975). In addition, 5.2 million served during the Gulf War (representing service from Aug. 2, 1990, to present); 2.6 million in World War II (1941-1945); 2.8 million in the Korean War (1950-1953); and 6 million in peacetime.
As of 2008, there are 50,000 living veterans who served during both the Vietnam and Gulf War eras. Other living veterans in 2008 who served during two or more wars:
– 92,000 served during three periods: World War II, the Korean War and the Vietnam War.
Living veterans in 2008 who served during two wars:
– 740,000 served during both Gulf War eras.
– 245,000 served during both the Korean War and the Vietnam Era.
– 182,000 served during both World War II and the Korean War.
Where They Live
There are five states with 1 million or more veterans in 2008. These states are California (2.1 million), Florida (1.7 million), Texas (1.7 million), New York (1 million) and Pennsylvania (1 million).