Veterans Day honors the men and women who served the United States in war and peacetime. Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to both living and deceased veterans.
Veterans Day wasn’t Always Known as Veterans Day
This holiday began as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919, to mark the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It became an official national holiday in 1938, and the name was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 by President Dwight D. Eisenhower. Arlington National Cemetery is the site of an annual wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns and other events observing the holiday.
Veterans by the Numbers
There are about 18.9 million living veterans in the U.S., according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). California, Texas and Florida have the highest numbers of veterans. The number of veterans age 65 and older was 9.2 million in 2016, while 1.6 million veterans were under 35, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.
Finding Success Outside of the Military
Many veterans are finding some success in the civilian workforce. Veterans of both sexes who worked full time year-round reported higher median earnings than non-veterans, and higher personal incomes than non-veterans, according to the VA.
Veterans are also making gains in higher education. The Census Bureau reported that an estimated 28.3% of veterans age 25 and older had a bachelor’s degree or higher in 2016. The VA reported that in 2015, nearly 15.9% of male veterans had a bachelor’s degree, compared to 20.7% of female veterans; 10.7% of male veterans had advanced degrees, compared to 13.7% of female veterans.
Higher education numbers for veterans may potentially grow in light of updated military educational benefits. The passage of the Harry W. Colmery Veterans Educational Assistance Act of 2017 (the Forever GI Bill®), expands benefits for veterans that served after Sept. 10, 2001, depending on the date of discharge. The bill also calls for upgrading technology to make it easier for schools to be stay apprised on available education assistance for students.
New England College Salutes Our Veterans and Servicemembers
Founded in 1946 to provide higher education to veterans returning from World War II, NEC has maintained an unwavering commitment to serving our nation’s servicemembers and veterans.
*GI Bill® is a registered trademark of the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). More information about education benefits offered by VA is available at the official U.S. government website at www.benefits.va.gov/gibill.