Veteran’s Day—Take Time to Thank a Veteran

It’s Veteran’s Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in the United Kingdom and Canada.

Please take time and thank a veteran today.

Thank a Veteran

Remember Our Veterans

What is Veteran’s Day and Why is it a Holiday?

President Woodrow Wilson first recognized Veteran’s Day as Armistice Day in November of 1919 commemorating the end of hostilities during World War I on 11 November of that year.

It was nearly 15 years later that Armistice Day was officially recognized on June 4th, 1926  by the United States Congress in a joint resolution which stated the day should be commemorated:

“…with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations…” (a ) (italics mine)

The resolution went on to say:

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.” ibid (italics mine)

In 1938 Armistice Day became a legal holiday by official act in the United States and was essentially a day set aside to honor the veterans of the First World War.

It wasn’t until 1954, however, when the act was rewritten to strike out Armistice and replaced with Veteran’s.

This year marks the 60th anniversary of Veteran’s Day.

What’s the Difference Between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day?

Unfortunately we see some confusion each year between Veteran’s Day and Memorial Day.

Short answer:

The intent of Memorial Day has ALWAYS been a day set-aside by our country to honor those who have DIED in MILITARY service to the United States.

Veteran’s Day, however, has evolved from a day of remembrance for the end of hostilities in World War I, to a day to honor only veterans of the “Great War” to what it is today; a day set aside to honor all that have served our nation in the armed forces. (b)

How is Veteran’s Day Celebrated?

The Veteran’s Day National Committee holds an annual memorial every November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery. The ceremony begins with a wreath laying ceremony at 11:00 a.m. Eastern Time and is followed by a parade of flags of veteran’s organizations in the Memorial Amphitheater. (c)

The Veteran’s Day National Committee also selects a number of regional sites for observances around the country.

Locally, towns and villages throughout the United States will hold parades and exhibits all honoring those who served.

This Veteran’s Day please take the time to remember our military veterans. Take a moment to shake their hand and say thank you for their service.

If you can read this, thank a teacher. If you can read it in English,
thank a veteran.

a. History of Veteran’s Day: http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp

b. What’s the difference: http://blog.dictionary.com/memorial-day/

c. Veteran’s Day Observances: http://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/

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Keith is the resident writer and troublemaker at Empowered Pros.
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