What Is Veterans Day and Why Do We Celebrate It?

What is Veterans Day?

Veterans Day is dedicated to all American veterans, both past and present, to thank them for their selfless service to the country. It is often confused with Memorial Day which is the day for honoring America’s war dead, for all American military personnel who lost their lives in battle or as a result of wounds sustained during combat. On the other hand, Veterans Day is especially dedicated to all the living soldiers who honorably served in the armed forces at any time the country needed their services, both during wartime and peacetime.

ArmisticeDayHistorically, this day was known as “Armistice Day” and was first celebrated to mark the end of World War I in 1918, which officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, i.e., November 11th. It became a legal federal holiday in 1938 and in the aftermath of the Korean War and World War II, Armistice Day was known as Veterans Day. It witnessed a name change when Congressman Edward Rees from Emporia, Kansas introduced legislation to change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day. President Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954 and since then November 11 has been officially celebrated to commemorate veterans of the country for their unwavering patriotism, service, sacrifice and love for the country.

For many it may just be one of the federal holidays in the United States, but it is important that every citizen celebrate this day with equal fervor. On this day, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Parades and other forms of celebrations are held in all the states of the country. Most educational institutions and work places — such as Hicks Professional Group — observe a holiday so that they can recognize this special day.

1505732Veterans Day is celebrated in different countries as well, where they honor soldiers of their respective countries. In Canada, they observe Remembrance Day on November 11 where they honor every veteran who died in the line of duty. It is also known as “Poppy Day” as people wear a red poppy flower to honor their war dead. A similar tradition is also observed in the United States on Memorial Day. ANZAC Day is celebrated in Australia and New Zealand, commemorating the deaths of all Australian and New Zealand veterans. Initially, it was celebrated to honor members of the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) who fought during World War I, which was soon extended to honor and remember soldiers post WWI. Volkstrauertag, which translates to “People’s Mourning Day,” is celebrated in Germany to commemorate all those who died in a war or an armed conflict. It does not remember just the soldiers but also the victims of violent events. Each country has its own way of remembering, honoring, and celebrating their veterans.

Veterans and soldiers of armed forces not only fight for their country and strive to keep it safe but they also protect the people of the countries where they are stationed. They naturally become ambassadors of the country and spread goodwill to all those who need it. They make considerable sacrifices during their service and display great courage and valor. Everyone should express immense gratitude to veterans for putting their lives on the line to protect our country. So, while an extra holiday is always welcomed, it should be spent recognizing those brave veterans and soldiers who wouldn’t think twice about taking a bullet to protect our country.

Additional Resources :

  1. Military Veteran Hiring

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The Navy SEAL Foundation is committed to maintaining a resilient, sustainable, and healthy force into perpetuity. At the same time, this same commitment runs strong in helping those who have served this country with honor and distinction transition as they began a new chapter of their life.