Veterans Day is a national holiday observed on November 11th in the United States to celebrate veterans of the military services and those died in the country’s conflicts. The event, known as Armistice Day, began in 1919 on the first anniversary of the 1918 armistice that ended World War I. It was memorialised in 1921 by the interment of an unnamed World War I soldier in Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. Similar ceremonies were held that year in other nations that had lost soldiers in the battle, such as Italy and Portugal. Unknown troops had been interred the previous year in Westminster Abbey in London, England, and at the Arc de Triomphe in Paris, France.
In 1938, November 11 became an official national holiday in the United States. Veterans Day was renamed in 1954 to memorialize veterans who have served in all of the United States’ conflicts. Each year, ceremonies are performed at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and flower tributes are put on the graves of military members and at monuments around the country. Naturalization rituals have evolved into an essential element of the day’s events.
Veterans of World Wars I and II are honoured on November 11 in the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia, and France. Remembrance Sunday is held on the second Sunday of November in the United Kingdom, while Remembrance Day is marked on November 11 in Canada. It is customary in the United Kingdom, Commonwealth nations, and European countries to observe two minutes of quiet at 11:00 a.m. on November 11, the time and date of World War I’s armistice in 1918.
Poppies have long been connected with World War I monuments thanks to John McCrae’s poem “In Flanders Fields,” and in various countries, paper poppies are sold to generate funds for veteran care and are worn in the lapel as a symbol of remembrance.
How to celebrate Veterans Day-
- Attend a Veterans Day event in your town, not simply a picnic with friends, but a genuine march or ceremony for veterans. “We can’t all be heroes; someone needs to sit on the curb and cheer as they pass,” Roy Rogers stated. Veterans Day is an excellent occasion to do so.
- Veterans Day is a great opportunity to fly the flag! Just make sure you’re following the display guidelines.
- If you know a veteran, send them a simple postcard or e-card on Veterans Day. If you don’t know any veterans, find the nearest military installation and send one there. Small gestures of acknowledging someone’s service, especially if done anonymously, are much appreciated.
- Veterans Day is a day to thank those who are now serving or who have served and are still with us. Memorial Day is a day to reflect on and memorialise those who died while serving their nation. Confusion or mixing the two lowers the significance of both.
- Find out what the policies are for engaging with patients or volunteering at your local VA hospital, and spend the day with a veteran. Many VA facilities will have festivities or a special lunch that you may assist prepare on Veterans Day. Even if you never meet a veteran, volunteering at a facility is a great opportunity to give back.