While thinking of how to start this blog I started wondering what the dictionary definition of Veterans Day is. So, I went into the “Oxford English Dictionary” from the libraries’ databases A – Z page and entered the term and found the following entry:
Veterans Day n. (also Veterans’ Day) (in the United States) a day honouring military veterans, (now) spec. a public holiday held on the anniversary of the end of the First World War (11 November) to honour United States veterans and victims of all wars.
Veterans Day replaced Armistice Day as the official name of the holiday in 1954.
There you have it, a day to honor military veterans. November 11, 1918, was the day the armistice was signed between Germany and the Allied nations, ending the fighting of WWI. The first anniversary of this event was the first Armistice Day and has been held the same day ever since.
What is rather interesting is that it is not a day of family picnics or fireworks, but a day that some hold parades, have church services or civic gatherings to remember and thank all that have worn a military uniform. It is a solemn day for a solemn reason. People chose to wear a military uniform for many reasons, but most agree one strong motivator is so that people everywhere can live free.
Some interesting facts:
The military men and women who serve and protect the U.S. come from all walks of life; they are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors, and coworkers, and are an important part of their communities. Here are some facts about the veteran population of the United States:
• 16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
• 5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.
• 2 million veterans are women.
• 7 million veterans served during the Vietnam War.
• 5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War.
• Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive.
• 2 million veterans served during the Korean War.
• 6 million veterans served in peacetime.
This quote from Woodrow Wilson, 28th President of the United States, says it best in my opinion:
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” –
On November 11, when you meet a veteran thank them for their service.