Veterans Day is Nov. 11, 2013: How will you say thanks?

acarlson@ledger-enquirer.comNovember 11, 2013 

Spectators lined the streets of Phenix City and Columbus Saturday morning, waving flags and cheering as the Veterans Day parade passed. Students in the JROTC programs at several local high school were among the parade participants. 11/10/12

MIKE HASKEY — mhaskey@ledger-enquirer.com

What began as Armistice Day, designed to honor the veterans of World War I — a conflict that seemed, at the time, impossibly horrible — has become an annual day of honor and thanks for all members of the U.S. military.

This year's Veterans Day is on Nov. 11, but it wasn't always. According to Yahoo!, the holiday was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October between 1971 and 1977.

There are more than 20 million veterans; more than 1 million of them are women. More of them served in the Vietnam War than in any other, which makes sense given that that conflict lasted for two decades. Which three states have the highest veteran population? Texas, Florida and California, according to the U.S. Census.

For those looking to honor veterans locally, the National Infantry Museum will be holding a day of activities, including a dedication ceremony for the pavers installed since Memorial Day, free screenings at the museum's IMAX and a four-hour "mini-camp" for children, to teach them the importance of the holiday.

Several restaurants are also offering several different deals for servicemen and women. Applebee's is offering a free signature entree on Monday if you show a military ID. The Chick-fil-A restaurants in Columbus and Phenix City are offering a free chicken sandwich if you show a military ID. And Denny's is offering free all-you-can-eat pancakes Monday to active, inactive and retired military personnel. The deal is available 6 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Click here to see a full round-up of Veterans Day deals.

Jim Davis once said, "You'd have to go a long way to find someone who was more proud and grateful for what our veterans have done for all of us." How will you honor their service?

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