Veterans Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to celebrating Veterans Day. It contains a brief history, CRS reports, sample speeches and recognitions, presidential proclamations, and statistics. It also contains links to additional web resources from authoritative sources.

Veterans Day Speech Resources: Fact Sheet

November 9, 2017 (R44263)

Introduction

Veterans Day is a federal holiday honoring people who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces. It is recognized annually on November 11.

This fact sheet is designed to assist congressional offices with work related to celebrating Veterans Day. It contains a brief history, selected CRS reports, sample speeches and recognitions, presidential proclamations, and statistical data. It also contains links to additional web resources from authoritative sources.

History

Veterans Day has its roots in Armistice Day. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919, the first Armistice Day, in recognition of the anniversary of the armistice that marked the end of the most destructive fighting during World War I.

For additional history, refer to the Department of Veterans Affairs "History of Veterans Day" page.

Legislation

On June 1, 1954, Congress passed Public Law 380, which designates November 11 as Veterans Day, a day to honor all American veterans.

CRS Reports

The Congressional Research Service has prepared numerous reports that relate to American veterans. Some of these include the following:

CRS Report R42324, Who Is a "Veteran"?—Basic Eligibility for Veterans' Benefits, by [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report R42790, Employment for Veterans: Trends and Programs, coordinated by [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report R42755, The Post-9/11 Veterans' Educational Assistance Act of 2008 (Post-9/11 GI Bill): A Primer, by [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report R42747, Health Care for Veterans: Answers to Frequently Asked Questions, by [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report RL34024, Veterans and Homelessness, by [author name scrubbed].

CRS Report R44625, Department of Veterans Affairs FY2017 Appropriations, by [author name scrubbed].

Sample Speeches and Recognitions

Elected officials often deliver speeches, make floor statements, issue press releases, or enter Extensions of Remarks into the Congressional Record to recognize federal holidays and observances. The following are some recent examples:

President Barack Obama, remarks by the President at Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery (November 11, 2016). [White House Website]

Representative Glenn Thompson, "Veterans Day 2016," remarks in the House of Representatives, Congressional Record, vol. 162, no. 162 (November 14, 2016), p. 6136.

Representative Sheila Jackson Lee, "Honoring our Veterans on Veterans Day," remarks in the House of Representatives, Congressional Record, vol. 162, no. 162 (November 14, 2016), p. H6137.

President Barack Obama, remarks by the President at Veterans Day Commemoration Ceremony, Arlington National Cemetery (November 11, 2015). [White House Website]

President Barack Obama, "This Veterans' Day, Let's Honor Our Veterans," Weekly Compilation of Presidential Documents (November 8, 2014). [Click here for White House video.]

Representative Joyce Beatty, "In Honor of Veterans Day," remarks in the House of Representatives, Congressional Record, vol. 160, no. 137 (November 12, 2014), p. H7919.

Representative Steven Palazzo, "Veterans Day," remarks in the House of Representatives, Congressional Record, vol. 160, no. 137 (November 12, 2014), p. H7903-H7904.

Senator Dick Durbin, "Veterans Day," remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 159, no. 160 (November 12, 2013), p. S7950. Senator Ben Cardin and Senator Thad Cochran, "Veterans Day," remarks in the Senate, Congressional Record, vol. 159, no. 158 (November 7, 2013), p. S7920-S7923.

Representative Paul Cook, "Remembering Our Nation's Veterans," remarks in the House of Representatives, Congressional Record, vol. 159, no. 153 (October 30, 2013), p. H6907.

Presidential Proclamations and Remarks

One of the many uses of a presidential proclamation is to ceremoniously honor a group or call attention to certain issues or events. Some recent Veterans Day proclamations, from the Compilation of Presidential Documents, include the following:

Proclamation—November 7, 2017—Veterans Day, 2017

Proclamation—November 1, 2017—National Veterans and Military Families Month, November 2017

Proclamation 9539—Veterans Day, 2016

Proclamation 9364—Veterans Day, 2015

Proclamation 9208—Veterans Day, 2014

Proclamation 9055—Veterans Day, 2013

Proclamation 8902—Veterans Day, 2012

Presidential proclamations and remarks from 1993 to the present are available through the Federal Digital System (FDsys) on the Government Publishing Office website. Earlier remarks (including selected audio and video clips) are available through The American Presidency Program, established by the University of California, Santa Barbara.

Statistics

Several federal agencies maintain statistics on American veterans. Some useful sources of data and information on veterans include

Department of Veterans Affairs, National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics.

U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features: Veterans Day 2017: Nov. 11

U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features: Veterans Day 2016: Nov. 11

U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features: Veterans Day 2015: Nov. 11

U.S. Census Bureau, Facts for Features: Veterans Day 2014: Nov. 11

U.S. Census Bureau, InfographicWorld War II: 70 Years On.

U.S. Census Bureau, InfographicWhere Do Veterans Get Health Insurance Coverage?

U.S. Census Bureau, InfographicHow Do We Know? A Snapshot of Our Nation's Veterans.

Historical Resources

Library of Congress, Veterans History Project

Library of Congress, "Veterans Day," American Memory Project, Today in History feature

The National Archives, Veterans' Service Records

Resources on Veterans Day Celebrations

Department of Veterans Affairs, Veterans Day-November 11

U.S. Army Center of Military History, Remembering Their Selfless Service to Our Country: Veterans Day

Author Contact Information

[author name scrubbed], Senior Technical Information Specialist ([email address scrubbed], [phone number scrubbed])