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By Angela Padrón

Each year on November 11th, we celebrate Veterans Day. It’s a time to thank the men and women who have bravely served in our armed services in peacetime and in wartime. Service men and women, whether alive or dead, are recognized and remembered. This should not be confused with Memorial Day, though, which is a more somber holiday observed in May that recognizes service men and women who have died.

Veterans Day was originally known as “Armistice Day.” November 11 was chosen because that was the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice at the end of World War I. It was first celebrated in 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. A resolution was passed by Congress in 1926 making the day an annual observance, but it became an official holiday in 1938. In 1954, it was changed to “Veterans Day” in order to recognize all veterans of all wars.

Every year, there are celebrations in our nation’s capital as well as around the country in different towns and states. People hold parades and lay wreaths at the graves of fallen soldiers. Many students in schools write letters to veterans thanking them for their service. Today there are 23.2 million veterans in the United States. Although Veterans Day comes once a year, people should always show their respect and appreciation for those who served our country with honor and bravery. Those who have served in our military put their lives on the line to protect the rights of all U.S. citizens. Their hard work and sacrifice is worthy of everyone’s respect and recognition each and every day.

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