On Veterans Day, Americans take time to salute the men and women who have served in the U.S. military
President Obama greets U.S. troops in South Korea on Veterans Day.
(Jason Reed / Reuters)
November 11 is Veterans Day. On this day, Americans honor veterans—former members of the U.S. armed services.
The holiday began as a way to commemorate November 11, 1918—the day fighting ended in World War I. But today, Veterans Day honors all former U.S. soldiers.
Parades and ceremonies are held across the nation to recognize all the men and women who have served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard. Some people gather to raise the American flag and sing the national anthem. Many groups also hold memorial services for veterans who have died, either during combat or peacetime.
National observance of Veterans Day takes place at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia. The tomb holds the remains of a soldier who died in combat during World War I, but whose body could not be identified. By honoring his tomb, Americans show respect to all soldiers who have given their lives in service to the United States.
Millions of Americans visit the tomb every year. Today, Vice President Joe Biden laid a wreath on the soldier's tomb.
President Barack Obama met with servicemen stationed in South Korea during his tour of Asia this week. In Germany, the First Lady surprised U.S. military personnel and their families by putting on an apron and helping to serve food at a special Veterans Day meal.
Did you know that other countries also celebrate the contributions of their veterans today? In Canada, the holiday is called Remembrance Day. People in the United Kingdom observe two minutes of silence to remember soldiers who died in combat.