The observance is about so much more than Veterans Day sales.
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 making it an annual observance, and it became a national holiday in 1938.
Sixteen years later, then-President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name to Veterans Day to honor all those who served their country during war or peacetime.
On this day, the nation honors military veterans — living and dead — with parades and other observances across the country and, in particular, a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia.
According to the Census Bureau and VA, there are some 16.5 million living military veterans in the United States in 2021. Of those, some 25 percent of the total are aged 75 and older while just 8.2 percent of veterans were younger than 35. Telling statistics.
Freedom isn’t free, folks.
Also, be there for your fellow humans.
Veteran suicide is on the decline, but it continues to claim lives.
- In 2020, there were 6,146 Veteran suicide deaths, which was 343 fewer than in 2019. The unadjusted rate of suicide in 2020 among U.S. Veterans was 31.7 per 100,000.
- Over the period from 2001 through 2020, age- and sex-adjusted suicide rates for Veterans peaked in 2018 and then fell in 2019 and 2020. From 2018 to 2020, age- and sex-adjusted suicide rates for Veterans fell by 9.7%.
- Among non-Veteran U.S. adults, age- and sex-adjusted suicide rates also peaked in 2018 and fell in 2019 and 2020. From 2018 to 2020, age- and sex-adjusted suicide rates for non-Veteran adults fell by 5.5%.
- In each year from 2001 through 2020, age- and sex-adjusted suicide rates of Veterans exceeded those of non- Veteran U.S. adults. The differential in adjusted rates was smallest in 2002, when the Veteran rate was 12.1% higher than for non-Veterans and largest in 2017, when the Veteran rate was 66.2% higher. In 2020, the rate for Veterans was 57.3% higher than that of non-Veteran adults.
- From 2019 to 2020, the age- and sex-adjusted suicide rate for Veterans fell by 4.8%, while for non-Veteran U.S. adults, the adjusted rate fell by 3.6%.
- From 2019 to 2020, among Veteran men, the age-adjusted suicide rate fell by 0.7%, and among Veteran women, the age-adjusted suicide rate fell by 14.1%. By comparison, among non-Veteran U.S. men, the age-adjusted rate fell by 2.1%, and among non-Veteran women, the age-adjusted rate fell by 8.4%.
- In each year from 2001 through 2020, age- and sex-adjusted suicide rates of Recent Veteran VHA Users exceeded those of Other Veterans. The differential in adjusted rates was smallest in 2018, when the rate for Recent Veteran VHA Users was 9.4% higher and largest in 2002, when the rate was 80.9% higher. In 2020, the age and sex-adjusted suicide rate of Recent Veteran VHA Users was 43.4% higher than for Other Veterans.
- In 2020, suicide was the 13th leading cause of death among Veterans overall, and it was the second leading cause of death among Veterans under age 45.
- The COVID-19 pandemic was announced in early March 2020. By the year’s end, COVID-19 was the 3rd leading cause of death in the United States, both overall10 and for Veterans. Despite the pandemic, the Veteran suicide rate in 2020 continued a decline that began in 2019.
- Comparisons of trends in Veteran suicide and COVID-19 mortality over the course of 2020, and across Veteran demographic and clinical subgroups, did not indicate an impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on Veteran suicide mortality.
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