Most Americans observe Veterans Day, hold veterans in high regard

Investigating how America feels about Veterans Day, how Americans are adapting their behavior in response to climate change, and whether Americans want to keep or jettison daylight savings time.

The author(s)

  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
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November 9- With Veterans Day this Thursday, November 11, we explore how Americans see veterans, people's proximity to veterans, and plans for celebrating the holiday.

Additionally, we examine who changed their consumption patterns because of climate change and what specific behaviors changed.

Stories this week:

Veterans Day:

Climate change:

Time change:

Veterans held in high regard

Most Americans say they hold veterans in high regard and believe that the United States should do more to support them after transitioning back to civilian life. However, some generational differences exist. While a majority across generations say they hold veterans in high regard and to agree that the country should do more for them and more help them transition back to normal life, those age 55 and above nearly universally say they do.

Baby boomers most likely to know someone who has served

Compared to other generations, baby boomers are most likely to know someone who has served in the Armed Forces across all walks of life, Ipsos polling finds.

While majorities of Americans know an acquaintance or someone in their extended family who has served, only a bare majority of Gen Z-ers know an acquaintance (54%) or extended family member (52%) who is a veteran. On the other hand, decisive majorities of baby boomers (80%) have veterans who are close acquaintances or extended family members.

When it comes to knowing veterans who are close friends or immediate family, the gap between Gen Z and baby boomers grows. Just a plurality of Gen Z-ers knows someone who has served in their immediate family (38%) and among their close friends (32%). Around seven in ten baby boomers know someone in these intimate spheres that have served.

In many ways, the baby boomer generation is defined by its proximity to the armed forces. The name, 'baby boomer,' developed from the surge in population following veterans returning home from World War II. Additionally, boomers are also the last generation to be drafted into the military during the Vietnam war.

Two-thirds observe Veterans Day, flag flying most common observance

Two in three Americans plan on observing Veterans Day, with majorities of Gen Z-ers, millennials, Gen X-ers, and baby boomers intending to observe the day.

Among these people, flying a flag is the most common way people plan to observe the holiday. Most people (55%) who are commemorating Veterans Day plan to do this.

Following flag flying, about one in four (28%) intend to go to a Veterans Day parade or ceremony or visit a veteran who is a friend or relative (26%).

Other popular plans include donating to a veterans charity or service organization or celebrating with friends and family.

Democrats, younger people are more likely to alter consumption habits out of concern about climate change

Overall, the American public is split around changing what they consume due to broader concerns about climate change. Two in five say they have made changes over the past few years, while 43% say they have not.

However, certain demographic groups are more likely to report having changed their ways. Specifically, just over two in five Americans (those under the age of 49) say they have changed their consumption patterns, compared to one in three among those age 50 and above.

Across partisan lines, a majority of Democrats (58%) report having made at least some changes, as opposed to 24% of Republicans and 44% of Independents. Affluence also plays a role – higher income and Americans with a bachelor’s degree or more are more likely to have altered their habits than their less affluent and less highly educated counterparts.

Americans most likely to recycle and cut energy consumption

When it comes to specific action around climate change, Americans are most likely to say they recycle now more than they used to and have taken steps to save energy and water at home. Close to one three say they are attempting to reduce food waste, and one in five have started buying more food from local, sustainable sources. Around one in five report taking steps to limit consumption more generally or buy products with less packaging. However, just one in ten report changing how they get around, such as flying less, or walking, taking public transit or biking instead of driving.

Most Americans want to see Daylight Savings Time end

While Americans turned back their clocks this weekend, many did so begrudgingly.  Recent polling finds that sixty-nine percent of Americans support ending the practice of Daylight Savings Time.

Regardless of demographics, Americans support ending Daylight Savings. Support is particularly strong out west, where 45% of people strongly support ending Daylight Savings, compared to 33% in the Northeast and 35% in the South who feel the same.

The author(s)

  • Catherine Morris Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs
  • Sarah Feldman Data Journalist, US, Public Affairs