Veterans Day: A Day to Celebrate our Heroes
Have you ever wondered about the historical significance and meaning behind some of the US holidays?
Many people celebrate national holidays, but don’t really understand the meaning and purpose of the day or what we are supposed to be celebrating! Veterans Day is one of our nation’s holidays that is, sadly, often overlooked and forgotten. The historical significance of Veterans Day runs deep and is quite interesting.
On the 11th hour of November 11th, 1918, the United States signed an armistice with Germany, bringing an end to World War 1. This day was originally called “Armistice Day,” and was declared a national holiday in 1938. It was later changed to “Veterans Day” in 1954 after the end of both World War 2 and the Korean War. Congress declared that November 11th should be dedicated as a holiday to celebrate and remember all of the American veterans of all wars.
In addition to the American Veterans Day, Britain, France, Australia, and Canada all have a veteran’s commemoration day as well, which falls on or near November 11th.
Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day as they both honor similar people and circumstances; however, Memorial Day is commissioned as time for us to honor those who have died in service of our country, while Veterans Day is a day of celebration to honor and thank all who have served, not just those who have passed away in service.
Fun Celebration Ideas
Many people receive time off work on Veterans Day, and as it is a federal holiday, all of the banks, government, post office, and other services are closed in observance of this day. We often overlook the importance of the day and use our time off to sleep in late and take care of chores or errands, but we should be active in celebrating those who have served. Here are some unique ideas you can participate in this Veterans Day:
1. Attend a Parade – Many towns and cities hold parades to honor local citizens who have served. This is a great opportunity for you to gather with your neighbors and meet those in your community who have sacrificed for your freedoms. You can thank them in person and also get to know them and their families. Community events like this are a great way to spend your morning!
2. Visit Local Veterans – Many towns have VA posts or veterans hospitals where people are allowed to visit and spend time with the patients. This is a great way to show your thanks and to meet some of the locals who have served.
3. Give Service – There is likely a memorial in your town that is dedicated to those from your area who have served in the Armed Forces or who have passed away while in service. Sign up for a volunteer crew to help clean and maintain this memorial. These are generally located in parks or other public locations so check with your local government body to see how you can help.
4. Spend Time with Family – Spending time with family and enjoying your freedom is one of the best ways to give thanks. Many people have sacrificed to protect our freedoms, so making sure that we enjoy them is key. Have a family event, host a BBQ, or even meet with or call loved ones in your family who have served. This is a great time for you to think about something other than work and spend time learning about those you love.
Remember to take some time this Veterans Day to think about the sacrifices that others have made to keep us safe and to protect the lives that we love. We are lucky to live in a country that allows us freedom to choose and to live how we will, so let’s not take it for granted. Have a happy, safe, and patriotic Veterans Day this November 11th!
Courtney Biltmore writes about Veterans news for MilitaryVALoan.com. MilitaryVALoan.com helps veterans save on their VA loans by finding the best VA home loan rates.