A recent assignment of mine involved going through an archive of an organization of Spanish-American War veterans. Coincidentally, Veterans Day is today. So, how about a little education, now that I’ve got veteran brain:
Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day. That’s because it celebrated the armistice with Germany at the end of World War I. In the 40s and 50s, those who fought in World War II wanted to expand the holiday to all veterans, not just those who fought in World War I. Congress changed the name in 1954, about 35 years after the original Armistice Day.
The reason it is celebrated on the 11th of November every year is because World War I hostilities formally ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. There was a time in the 70s (or 80s, but I’m pretty sure it was the 70s) where they tried to have it on the fourth Monday of October, but it only lasted a couple of years before they went back to 11/11.
Maybe some of you are confused about the differences between Veterans Day and Memorial Day and Armed Forces Day, etc. Let me explain: Veterans Day celebrates the service of ALL US military veterans, Memorial Day honors those who died in service, and Armed Forces Day honors currently serving military. Each military branch also has their own day.
So, if you know someone who served or is currently serving, today is the day to thank them for their service and remember that they can kick your ass.
Jokes aside, I have family who served. Some were POWs, some came home with hella trauma, some didn’t come home at all. It’s an important day in my family as we remember what they went through. We appreciate them and honor their memory.
Happy Veterans Day