By the Numbers: Veterans Day


President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that day as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, following the end of World War I, with the following words: “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 …”


The year Congress declared Nov. 11, Armistice Day, a legal holiday


The year Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day as a way to recognize veterans of all of America’s wars 


The year Congress passed the Uniform Holidays Bill, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975, President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to Nov. 11 because of the important historical significance of the date. Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World War I and World War II on or near Nov. 11: Canada has Remembrance Day, and Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November).

18.2 million

The number of living veterans who served during at least one war as of 2018


The percentage of women veterans among those 18.2 million veterans

7 million

The number of veterans who served during the Vietnam War

3 million

The number of veterans who have served in support of the War on Terrorism


The number of World War II veterans – of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II – who were still alive as of 2018