Veterans Day, which is on Friday, Nov. 11, is an annual holiday to honor the people who have served in the United States military.

According to city data, 25% of the City’s veterans live in Brooklyn, making it the borough with the second-most veterans.

In Brooklyn this year, the holiday was honored with a parade in Brownsville. There will be events across the borough, including a ceremony at the Cypress Hills National Cemetery.

Here’s some background on the holiday: Veterans Day originated as ‘Armistice Day’ on November 11, 1919 — the first anniversary of the end of World War I. 

It wasn’t until 1938, after Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, that Nov. 11, became a national holiday to honor World War I veterans.

Then, in 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress, at the urging of the veterans’ service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word Armistice and inserting the word Veterans. With this legislation, Nov. 11, became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans — living or dead — but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

Here are some facts about the veteran population of the U.S.:

  • 19 million living veterans served during at least one war
  • 11% of veterans are women
  • 5.9 million veterans served during the Vietnam War
  • 7.8 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War
  • Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 240,000 are still alive as of 2021
  • 933,000 veterans served during the Korean War
  • The three states with the highest percentage of veterans are Montana, Alaska and Virginia
  • The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930; since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers, more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics, 126 nursing home care units and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.

The military people who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life — they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers and are an important part of their communities.

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