The meaning of Veterans Day
The United States, like all countries, honors special days that mark its history.
As a citizen of America, which of these holidays is your favorite and why?
In addition, how many holidays do you think we celebrate each year as proud Americans?
While you ponder over these questions, let me share mine briefly. Though the United States has eleven plus one holidays in a calendar year, Veterans Day is my favorite.
I've two emotional reasons for choosing this unforgettable day. First, I'm a product of the military. In plain language, my dad was a military officer. He devoted a decade of his life to defend the sovereignty of our enviable nation. May his spirit find solace with the almighty God!
Second, the ardor of our gallant military men and women in the face of death is unrivaled. It shows their bravery, nationalism, and readiness to defend our nation regardless of the outcome. Yes, they are keen to die for others to live.
How can you describe this?
Well, I'm not the only person who thinks highly of our brave men and women. But before you hear from few others, here is a quick recap of what you'll be learning next:
- Inspirational quotes about Veterans Day
- All the holidays in the United States
- What is the meaning of Veterans Day?
- Why is Veterans Day important?
- What are the facts about Veterans Day?
- Why is Veterans Day on November 11?
- Why do we celebrate Veterans Day?
- Is Veterans Day for active duty too?
- When did Veterans Day become a national holiday?
- What happens at 11 am on Veterans Day?
- What flower is a symbol of Veterans Day?
- Why are veterans so special?
- And many more.
Thanks for staying with me!
Can we start? I think so!
Now, let's take a look at some inspirational Veterans Day quotes from some famous people.
I hope you can feel their true emotions flowing through their words. They have set the tone for this write-up. But, before we delve further, here are the holidays on our calendar:
- New Year's Day
- Martin Luther King, Jr. Day
- George Washington's Birthday
- Memorial Day
- Independence Day
- Labor Day
- Columbus Day
- Veterans Day
- Thanksgiving Day
- Christmas Day
These are the eleven federal holidays observed in the country. In addition, Inauguration Day adds up to make it twelve. It's celebrated every four years after each general election.
What Is the Meaning of Veterans Day?
Veterans Day is one of the federal holidays in the United States to honor military veterans. Each year, it's observed on November 11 to mark the end of World War I hostilities. In addition, it's meant to remember and thank the officers who served in the United States Armed Forces.
Why Is Veterans Day Important?
- It pays tribute to the officers who served bravely for the country.
- It highlights the love, willingness, and sacrifices they gave to defend us at all costs.
- It preserves the historical date and what happened on it for young learners.
- It provides the avenue for thanking those who laid their lives for our country.
- It instills into each one of us the significance of peace.
- It helps us appreciate the challenges facing many of the veterans.
What Are the Facts About Veterans Day?
Veterans Day is rooted in our fabric as a nation. Yet, there are a few things most of us aren't aware of about this holiday. So, to set the record straight, here are the fundamental facts to know.
Lots of Americans think this emotional holiday is written in possessive form. Let's look at the two spellings - Veterans' Day and Veteran's Day. Neither is correct; why? Because it's a day that honors all veterans, it's spelled without an apostrophe. So, the right word is—Veterans Day.
Are Veterans and Memorial Day the same? Some Americans find it hard to recognize the difference. But, unfortunately, these holidays aren't the same. First, they are marked on different days. For instance, we observed Memorial Day on the last Monday of May while honoring Veterans Day on November 11 annually.
Second, they honor different events—for instance, Memorial Day is celebrated to honor and mourn the military officers who died serving our nation. In contrast, Veterans Day is celebrated to honor all military officers who have served the country—whether dead or alive.
Back then, was it called Veterans Day? Not at all! It started as Armistice Day, officially marking the end of World War I. It took effect on the unique timeline—eleventh hour, eleventh day, and eleventh month. On this day, President Woodrow Wilson signed the proclamation.
In 1968, through a Uniform Holiday Act, Congress changed the Veterans date. It moved from November 11 to the 4th Monday in October. Congress took this path to give federal workers a three-day weekend. In addition, they believed it would boost the economy via traveling.
However, after refusal by some states to honor the date, President Gerald Ford changed it back to the original day, November 11. Though the change began in 1975, it took effect in 1978.
The Armistice isn't unique to the United States alone. It's also dear to the allied forces that fought alongside the United States. So, they also adopted it as a day to be honored. Though Canada marks it on November 11, she prefers to call it—Remembrance Day. In addition, Great Britain calls her holiday—Remembrance Sunday. It's observed on the second Sunday of November.
Reliable data estimated that there are about 19.5 million veterans in the United States. Out of these staggering numbers, over 2 million are women. In addition, there are over 9 million veterans above the age of sixty-five.
Headed by the president as the commander-in-chief, the United States Armed Forces comprised six service branches. They worked in harmony to provide a protective guard for the nation in all departments. So, without further ado, let's look at their respective functions below:
The Air Force is the service arm of the military force responsible for defending the United States air bases. The Secretary of the Air Force leads it. And its five primary missions include:
- a) Air superiority
- b) Global strike
- c) Rapid global mobility
- d) Command and control
- e) Global integration, surveillance, and reconnaissance
The Army is the service arm of the military force responsible for the United States' land operations. The Secretary of the Army leads it. And its five core missions are:
- a) Combined arm operations
- b) Special operations
- c) Prompt and sustained land combat
- d) Setting and sustaining the theater for a joint force
- e) Integrate national, multinational, and collective power on land
The Coast Guard:
The Secretary of Homeland Security leads the Coast Guard. It's the branch of the military force responsible for the United States' maritime law enforcement. Five of its eleven principal missions are:
- a) Drug interdiction
- b) Marine safety
- c) Maritime environmental protection
- d) Maritime search and rescue
- e) Port and waterway security
The Marine Corps is the maritime land service arm responsible for the United States' amphibious and expeditionary warfare operations. It's led by the Secretary of the Navy. And its core missions include:
- a) Major warfare missions
- b) Combat flight support missions
- c) Protection of the United States embassies across the world
- d) Protection of the United States classified documents
- e) Troop-to-ship warfare
The Navy is the maritime service arm responsible for protecting the United States' waterways beyond the jurisdictions of the Coast Guard. Its function covers both the sea and ocean operations. The Navy is led by the Secretary of the Navy, and its critical missions are:
- a) Sea control
- b) Sealift
- c) Power projection
- d) Deterrence
- e) Maritime security
The security of the Air Force leads the Space Force. It's the service branch responsible for protecting the United States and its allied interests in space. It performs this function by training, organizing, and equipping space forces. The primary missions of the Space Force are:
- a) Space security
- b) Information mobility
- c) Combat power projection
- d) Space mobility and logistics
- e) Space domain and awareness
Why Is Veterans Day On November 11?
The United States chose this date because, officially, the hostilities of the First World War ended on that day in 1918. Therefore, it was marked as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919, under President Woodrow Wilson. The aim was to honor the military officers who fought gallantly, serving the interest of the nation.
Why Do We Celebrate Veterans Day?
Though serving in the Armed Forces is a scary dream, others find it a patriotic duty to serve their nation. While serving in different capacities, most of them become our heroes and heroines. So, to honor their sacrifices, Veterans Day was launched. It celebrates both the veterans who are dead or alive.
Is Veterans Day for Active Duty Too?
Veterans Day isn't for officers in active service. Instead, it commemorates those officers who had served in any of the six operating branches of the Armed Forces. For those in active service, the Armed Forces Day is reserved for them. It's observed on the third Saturday of May annually.
When Did Veterans Day Become A National Holiday?
Veterans Day became a national holiday in 1938. However, its origin dates back to November 11, 1918, ending a bitter war known across the world as World War I. Before 1938, Congress passed a resolution in 1926, giving it the legal backing it needed.
What Happens At 11 am On Veterans Day?
The 11 am on Veterans Day refers to the exact hour that the United States and its allied forces ended hostilities during World War I. So, around this time, a two-minute silence is observed to honor and thank all veterans in the United States. The day is celebrated amidst parades and church services across the country.
What Flower Is A Symbol of Veterans Day?
The red poppy became an official flower of the American Legion Family in 1920. The red poppy symbolizes the blood of the officers who died during World War I. In the United States, National Poppy Day is marked on the Friday before Memorial Day. It aimed to encourage people who received a flower to donate to support veterans' medical and financial needs.
Why Are Veterans So Special?
Finding a word to describe a person or group of persons who lay their lives for others to live is hard. In a logical light, I can't find the exact words to decorate our brave men and women. But when you point a gun at me, I'll quickly label them as demigods. You heard that right! They have shown integrity, bravery, patriotism, and sacrifice in their quest for defense and victory.
My Final Words On Veterans Day
Veterans Day is one of the federal holidays celebrated annually in the United States and some other countries. Though it differs from Memorial Day, some Americans hardly find the difference. Veterans Day honors all veterans—dead or living. However, Memorial Day honors those who are dead. These two, along with Armed Forces Day, are devoted to the military.
Veterans Day became part of America's history on November 11, 1919. It marks the end of horrors and victory for the United States and its alliance. With this sense of achievement, the allied forces also adopted the historical date into their calendar. Therefore, you'll find Australia, Canada, Great Britain, etc., honoring this special event on different days and names.
It's on record that there are about 19.5 million veterans in the United States. Interestingly, 9 million are above the age of 65, and about 50% of them are experiencing homelessness. The female veterans' figure is pegged at 2 million people. Despite their bravery, love, and sacrifice, some of them are suffering. So, we owned it as a duty to support them now that they are out of service.
I want to honor all our courageous veterans with a quote from President Woodrow Wilson—"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory."
Finally, as we look forward to the next Veterans Day, may God continue to bless America.