Veterans Day History and 2020 Teacher Resource Guide

Veterans Day is Wednesday, November 11th


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Veterans Day as we know it wasn’t always called “Veterans Day.” It began as a commemoration of Armistice Day, the day when the fighting stopped during World War I.

What was then thought to be the “war to end all wars” formally ceased on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. And in November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. A Congressional Act in 1938 made the 11th of November a legal holiday.

On June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American Veterans of all wars. Later that year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first “Veterans Day Proclamation.”

Learn more about Veterans Day History at: https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp

Veterans Day Teachers Guide

There are about 18 million Veterans living among us, in every state and territory. They come from all walks of life. Some are old and some are young; some served here at home and others overseas. They are from big cities, small towns and everything in between. Some revel in the opportunity to regale you with tales of their time serving, while others are more reserved.

As Veterans Day approaches, many teachers and educators are looking for ways for their students to connect with Veterans who served in the past, as well as service members now on active duty.

Use the Veterans Day 2020 Teachers Guide to plan out activities and help students learn more about America’s Veterans. Ideas for activities include asking students to share a photograph of any Veteran family members, challenging students to match military terms with definitions, or watch Veterans Day ceremonies, videos or livestreams.

Download the Veterans Day 2020 Teachers guide at: https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/docs/2020-Veterans-Day-Teachers-Guide.pdf

Download Veteran data, like the Veteran population in each state at: https://www.va.gov/vetdata/veteran_population.asp

Listening to Veteran Stories

Find local Veterans groups to connect with by contacting a nearby Community Veteran Experience Action Center or reaching out to a Veteran Service Organization.

VetTalkX, (pronounced vet-talks), provide Veterans a platform, like Ted Talks, to humanize their experiences and accomplishments, often while overcoming challenges, to show Americans that Veterans are civic assets. Watch these recorded VetTalkX events to learn more about the unique experiences Veterans and their families face.

Chattahoochee Valley, Alabama VetTalkX

Portland, Maine VetTalkX

Wounded Warrior Project VetTalkX

VETLANTA Atlanta, Georgia VetTalkX

On Veterans Day, America remembers the service and sacrifice of all Veterans – living and deceased. For more information on Veterans Day please visit: https://www.va.gov/OPA/vetsday/

Author

Jean Orzechowicz

Jean Orzechowicz is the Communications Liaison with the Enterprise Measurement and Design Team under the Veterans Experience Office. She started her VA career in 2009 with the Veterans Benefits Administration before transitioning to the Veterans Experience Office in 2016.

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