Friday is Veterans Day 2022, which we observe each year on November 11th, honoring military veterans of the United States Armed Forces. The U.S. observation coincides with other holidays including Armistice Day and Remembrance Day which are celebrated in other countries.

For those who didn't know, November 11th was chosen because the fighting in World War I formally came to a close at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the armistice with Germany was officially recognized.

So, just how many Illinois residents are we honoring on Veterans Day 2022?

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Sadly, not very many of his era are still with us. (Getty Images)

If You Want To Shake The Hand Of Every Man And Woman Veteran In The United States, You'll Be Extending That Handshake To About 18 Million Americans, Or 7 Percent Of The Adult Population

But I'm sure you're busy, and to do that would require a lot of state-to-state travel, so maybe instead of shaking hands with every vet in America, we should limit it to only Illinois veterans. How many do think that would be?

According to a Veterans Day piece at

In Illinois, 526,153 residents, or 5.3% of the 18 and older population, are military veterans -- the sixth smallest share among states. Of all veterans in the state, 17.9% served after Sept. 11 2001, 36.9% served during the Vietnam War era, and 2.8% are veterans of WWII.

American war Veterans standing proudly amongst flag memorial in a field.
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Real American Soldier with Wife & Son against blue sky.
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Illinois War Veterans By The Numbers

World War I: There are no more WWI veterans living in Illinois, or anywhere else in the world, since the last officially recognized WWI veteran, Florence Green, died in 2012 at the age of 110. The last living combatant of WWI, Claude Choules, died in 2011 also at the age of 110.

World War II: As of January 1st of this year, there were 6,114 WWII veterans living in Illinois.

Korean War: As of January 1st, Illinois was home to 51,593 veterans of the Korean Conflict.

Vietnam: As of January 1st, there were 199,747 Vietnam veterans living in Illinois. During the course of the Vietnam war, nearly 3000 Illinois military members were killed in action.

The War On Terror/Iraq-Afghanistan: As an ongoing conflict, there aren't final numbers on veterans of the conflict, but Illinois has seen roughly 280 servicemen and women killed in action.

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