Veterans Day is observed annually on November 11, honoring those who served in the United States Armed Forces. Each year, we acknowledge the work done and sacrifices made by our men and women in uniform.

Photograph of a joint services color guard marching in a parade
A joint services color guard marches in the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, 1/1/1983. National Archives Identifier 6375696

We invite you to explore the wealth of records held by the National Archives that document U.S. military encounters from the 18th century through the 20th century, including the Veterans Day Military History roundup on the Unwritten Record blog, and our Veterans Day Resources on archives.gov.

Photograph of two armed services members maintaining a OV-1A

Color Photographs of Signal Corps Activity, 1944 - 1981. 2.75 mm Rockets Loaded on to a OV-1A, 9/11/1967. National Archives Identifier 176250302

The National Archives is proud to serve veterans and their families, especially through our work at the National Personnel Records Center in St. Louis, MO. You can find out how we help veterans access their records to receive benefits, and read about the work our Preservation staff do to make these records accessible. Be sure to take a look at our free special programs on topics from the Revolutionary War to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier and World War II movies.

To all veterans and their families: thank you for your service.

Black and white photograph of an engineer camp during the civil war, 8th state militia

Mathew Brady Photographs of Civil War-Era Personalities and Scenes. Engineer camp, 8th N.Y. State Militia, ca. 1860-1865. National Archives Identifier 524918

Black and white photograph of a group of men from the 369th 15th NY in 1919
Men of 369th (15th N.Y.) who won the Croix de Guerre for gallantry in action, 2/12/1919. National Archives Identifier 26431282
Black and white photograph of three women from Women Airforce Service pilots in and around an airplane consulting documents

WASPs Around a Curtis A-25A, ca. 1943. National Archives Identifier 176250894

Photograph of sailors kneeling in a line placing wreaths on memorials of casualties of Pearl Harbor. A mountain is seen in the background

Photograph of Sailors Paying Tribute to Casualties of the Pearl Harbor Attack at a Hawaiian Islands Cemetery. National Archives Identifier 12009116

Photograph of american troops gathered together and smiling for the camera as they prepare for the Normandy invasion
Photograph of American Troops on LCT Preparing for Normandy Invasion, 6/1944. National Archives Identifier 12008276
Black and white photograph of a group of army nurses in the bed of a truck
U.S. Army nurses arrive to relieve the nursing problem of Santo Tomas University prison camp, Manila, Luzon, P.I. National Archives Identifier 204950951
Black and whilte photograph on a mounting card of the flag raising at Iwo Jima

Flag Raising on Mount Suribachi, Iwo Jima, Japan, 2/23/1945. National Archives Identifier 100310761

Color photograph of a woman working on an airplane

Woman Working on Inside of SNV Fuselage at Consolidated Vultee Aircraft Plant in Downey, California, 7/1943. National Archives Identifier 176217199

Transcribe Records as a Citizen Archivist

American Civil War Military Service Records, “United States Colored Troops”

In honor of Veterans Day, we invite you to help transcribe records related to the “United States Colored Troops." These records include the military service records of Union volunteer soldiers who served during the American Civil War. Records include jackets (folders) containing cards on which information relating to individuals, companies, and regiments of the Volunteer Service of the United States during the Civil War have been copied from original records such as muster rolls, returns, descriptive books, and morning reports.

Military service record for David Cyles, United States Colored Troops
On May 22, 1863, the War Department issued General Order 143, establishing a “Bureau of Colored Troops” in the Adjutant General’s Office to recruit and organize African American soldiers to fight for the Union Army. With this order, all African American regiments were designated as “United States Colored Troops (USCT).” Learn more about the digitization of these records on the Pieces of History blog.

Military Service Record of David Cyles, United States Colored Troops: 56th US Colored Infantry. National Archives Identifier 200635072

Every word you transcribe helps to make these records more searchable and accessible online. Get started transcribing!

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100th Anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

November 2021 marks the centennial of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. On November 11, 1921, following the end of World War I, the repatriated remains of an unknown member of the American Expeditionary Forces were interred at Arlington National Cemetery. Since then, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier has provided a final resting place for Unknowns from World War II, the Korean War, and the Vietnam War. Learn more on the Education Updates blog.

Photograph of President Barack Obama at a wreath laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

President Barack Obama Participates in a Wreath Laying Ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, 11/11/2012. National Archives Identifier 176552676

This new exhibit on Google Arts and Culture showcases special media records, including drawings, photographs, and film, relating to the history of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. The Tomb is one of America’s most iconic memorials and is visited every year by millions of visitors.

Screenshot of the Google Arts and Culture exhibit for the 100th anniversary of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier
Photograph of a service member placing a wreath at the tomb of the unknown soldier

Memorial Day Services, Memorial Amphitheatre, Arlington National Cemetery, 5/30/1936. National Archives Identifier 209280045

Photograph of gold star mothers at the tomb of the unknown soldier

Annual Pilgrimage of the Gold Star Mothers, Inc. of New York and nearby States, to the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, Arlington National Cemetery., 9/30/1934. National Archives Identifier 209280039

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