Celebrating Veterans Day with events across Alaska

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ANCHORAGE (KTUU) - Across the country, people will celebrate Veterans Day on Nov. 11, a holiday honoring all veterans of past wars as well as those currently serving.

The abridged story of the holiday is that the day was originally commemorated as Armistice Day the year after the First World War ended. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, an armistice, or agreement made in a war to stop fighting for a period of time, was made between the Allied nations and Germany. Armistice Day was made a national holiday the following year, and became a legal holiday in the United states in 1938.

After World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became Veterans Day, meant to honor American veterans of all wars as well as those currently serving or those who have served in the past.

Notably, Veterans Day and Memorial Day are the two national holidays honoring the sacrifice of those who have served in the U.S. Armed Forces, celebrating duty, honor, and civic responsibility as well. However, the two are distinctly different: Memorial Day is the older of the two, with roots stemming from the Civil War, meant to honor those who died serving in the armed forces. It was first designated in 1868, according to the Memorial Day Foundation, with the primary purpose of the observance being "the hope it will be kept up from year to year, while a survivor of the war remains to honor the memory of his departed comrades."

Veterans Day celebrations will take place across the Last Frontier, a state with an especially large military population, and somewhere around 75,000 vets, according to the Dept. of Veterans Affairs.

Here are a few of the events taking place this Veterans Day weekend:

- Alaska National Guard and Alaska Dept. of Military and Veterans Affairs Ceremony: Joint Base Elmendorf Richardson, 10:30 a.m.

- Alaska Veterans Museum free day and book signing with John Cloe: 333 West 4th Ave. #227, Anchorage, all day; book signing, 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

- Centennial Hall Veterans Day Ceremony: 101 Egan Drive, Juneau, 11 a.m.

- Veterans Day Dinner: Elks Lodge 420, 9321 Glacier Hwy., Juneau, 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

- Festival Fairbanks Veterans Day Ceremony: 813 Noble Street, Fairbanks, 11 a.m.

- Free meals for veterans: Participating restaurants in Anchorage include IHOP, Chili's, Olive Garden and Buffalo Wild Wings.

Have more events you want added to this list? Let us know by emailing news@ktuu.com.