To all those who have served our country, thank you, and Happy Veterans Day!
Veterans Day, an American holiday, is very well recognized and appreciated; however, many people do not truly understand its meaning. Even its spelling is often mistaken. Notice it is "Veterans Day" - no apostrophes. This is because it is not a day that belongs to veterans, but a day to honor them all. Every year, on November 11th, we each pay our respects to those who risk their lives to serve the country. On this day, we forget all of our differences and stand united.
The sole purpose of this day was to recognize the heroes who served the country and passed away, giving in the name "Armistice Day." This was established right after WWI. Although the war officially ended on June 28, 1919, the actual fighting ended about seven months prior. The allies and Germany came to an armistice, or truce, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, making November 11, 1918, Armistice Day. This name didn't work because then came to WWII... In order to honor all veterans of all wars, the word “armistice” was substituted with “veterans.”
Veterans Day is NOT Memorial Day
Many people do not know the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Memorial Day is a day to remember those who lost their lives fighting for our country, specifically due to battle wounds. Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors all of those who have served the country, in war or peace, whether they are dead or alive.
How to observe Veterans Day
While there is no correct way to observe this national holiday, many people choose to participate in parades and church services. Others hang the American flag at half-mast and will observe a period of silence, lasting two minutes, at 11 am. Take time to reach out to any veterans you may know and thank them.