WASHINGTON — Veterans Day this year may still be a bit different as the country continues to battle the COVID-19 pandemic. Every year, the federal government and businesses around the country observe Veterans Day on Nov. 11 to honor those who have served in the U.S. military.
What is the history of Veterans Day?
During World War I, the fighting ended on Nov. 11, 1918 when an armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
Nearly twenty years later, legislation passed on May 13, 1938, officially making Nov. 11 of each year a federal holiday, originally known as "Armistice Day," the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs explains on its website.
The holiday was first created to honor veterans of World War I, but then in 1954, the original legislation was amended to change the holiday's name to Veterans Day, to honor American veterans of all wars.
What is open and what is closed on Veterans Day 2021?
Post Offices: As is usually the case, even before the pandemic, the U.S. Postal Service will be taking a break from delivering mail on Thursday, Nov. 11, in observance of Veterans Day this year. Post offices across the U.S. will be closed for the holiday and mail delivery will be paused.
UPS and FedEx: UPS confirmed on its website that on Nov. 11 this year the company will be doing pickup and delivery services. Additional business days could be required for some services due to transit times connected to the USPS holiday. FedEx will also continue to operate on Veterans Day as well, with minimal disruption, AARP notes.
Banks: Banks along with those under the Federal Reserve will be closed across the country, with some exceptions. Online banking services will still be in operation, with limited access to a live representative in many cases. ATMs should also remain accessible though.
TD Bank, which is usually open during many notable federal holidays, will be closed this year according to AARP.
U.S. Stock Markets: While the U.S. bond market this year will be closed, U.S. stock markets like the NYSE and Nasdaq do not close this year on Thursday Nov. 11, and will operate as usual on Veterans Day.
Public Schools: Many, but not all, public schools across the country will be closed in observance of Veterans Day this year. The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs offers this comprehensive guide as a learning resource for students and teachers. This year, the 2021 National Veterans Day poster offered by the agency features a soldier commemorating the Centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Be sure to double check with your local school to see whether classes are in session.
National Parks: Our country's national parks will remain open this year on Veterans Day, and the sites that usually charge an entrance fee will offer free admissions to everyone.
Retail businesses and grocery stores: Most grocery stores and retail businesses usually remain open on Veterans Day and this year is no different.
Federal offices and agencies: As has been the case in years past, most if not all non-essential government offices will be closed in observance of the holiday on Thursday.
What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?
In the United States, Memorial Day's purpose is to honor military members who have died, while Veterans Day recognizes the service of all America's veterans.
In 2021, Memorial Day will be observed on Monday, May 31. And, Veterans Day will be observed on Nov. 11.