Veterans Day is commemorated every year on November 11, and is observed on Armistice Day when the Treaty of Versailles was signed to mark the ending of hostilities between Germany and the Allied Forces during World War I in 1918. The war officially ended on June 28, 1919.
This is the day to honor all soldiers who have served or are currently serving in the armed forces, not only those who died fighting in the war. It is different from Memorial Day which commemorates veterans who lost their lives while serving the nation.
The day was formerly known as Armistice Day which was first recognized in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson in a heart-rending message to honor the servicemen in the country.
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations," Wilson had said.
In 1926, all states were invited to observe the day, which was commemorated annually on the fourth Monday of October. In 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to honor all servicemen. Fourteen years later, the day began to be observed on November 11 because of the day's historical significance.
In 2014, the United States had about 19.3 million veterans, out of whom seven million have served in the Vietnam War.
Many restaurants in California are offering discounts and free meals to veterans on this day, including Chipotle, Denny's, and Chick-fil-A. Other businesses which are offering freebies to veterans include car washes, lodging, aquariums, and golf courses.
Veteran day events are held all across the country, including in churches which display service flag and plan special events to honor those serving the nation.