Men and women who have spent a significant portion of their life serving the military are known as veterans. Since 1776, millions of Americans have striven to maintain the peace and served in the difficult times of the world war 1. In the honor of the brave personalities, USA celebrates Veterans Day on November 11th. It is a public holiday which means, schools, offices, and most businesses remain closed.
Veterans Day is not only about commemorating the martyr souls, but also the living veterans who have made many sacrifices in their lives for the sake of the country. The day makes them feel special and makes them realizes that their contributions towards the nation are recognized and appreciated. The day is also meant to convey to the family of the deceased that the contribution of their loved ones who are no longer alive will always be cherished and appreciated.
A Walk Down the Historical Lane of Veterans Day
On 11th November 1918, an armistice came into effect between Germany and the allies. This marked the commemoration of the Armistice Day. President Wilson stated that the day should be a tribute to the brave souls who sacrificed their own lives for the nation. When the war ceased in 1926, the anniversary of the Armistice was celebrated with prayer and by offering gratitude.
World War I was supposed to mark the end of all chaos and wars, but sadly, world war 2 broke out and several veterans again lost their lives. The massive destruction in the world war 2 prompted a shoe store owner named Alfred King to start a campaign in order to turn the Armistice day into a day that paid respect to all veterans.
Thanks to the Emporia community, and their Representative Ed Rees, a bill was passed through the Congress that stated the replacement of Armistice Day with Veterans Day. On 26th May 1964, the then president Dwight Eisenhower signed the bill into law that came into existence and has been the same ever since.
Why do we Celebrate Veterans Day
The main idea behind celebrating veterans’ day is to honor those who gave it all for the nation. Ultimately, they saved the country without having any regard of their own lives. As a gesture of gratitude for their courageous services, the entire country pays gratitude to the brave individuals.
Here are some more reasons why celebrating Veterans Day is immensely rewarding:
1. Honoring The Fearless At The Same Time
Since it is a national holiday on Veterans Day, all the citizens of the country get an opportunity to honor the fearless veterans on the same day. Any prayer when performed in a group becomes more profound and powerful. The mere idea of the entire nation doing something so serene together is in itself extremely inspiring.
2. Amazing Opportunity To Inspire School Children
Be it a lesson of history or a valuable life lesson, celebrating Veterans Day is surely beneficial to the young generation. They get to learn about their nation’s history and realize that the freedom they enjoy in today’s world wouldn’t be possible without the sacrifice of veterans. They develop an attitude of gratitude as they learn how to pay homage to the lives that have been lost for a cause. It inspires them to be brave and instigates patriotic thoughts and feelings within.
3. Gratitude Is The Best Way Of Appreciating
On the rest of the days of the year, we tend to take our freedom for granted. Only by expressing gratitude we can truly realize that what we have is valuable and we should cherish it all along. Not all can accomplish what these veterans did. Not all have the courage to leave their families and devote their life for the sake of the country. Veterans Day provides us with a chance to express as well as feel the gratitude and appreciate the efforts of the veterans in the best possible way.
What Happens on Veterans Day?
Most of the cities in the US hold events and community parades in order to honor the brave veterans. In the United States, the most popular of all the observances take place at the Arlington National Cemetery at the Tomb of the Unknowns. People also move forward to thank their local heroes and express gratitude for all their contributions. There is a two-minute silence observed at 11:00 AM, the same time at which the armistice was signed to end the world war I. At the tomb, the president of the United States places a wreath.
The U.S. is not the only country that honors the veterans and their sacrifices. Several other countries including Canada, Australia, etc. commemorate the day in different ways. Great Britain celebrates “Remembrance Day” on a Sunday nearing 11th November. Australia and Canada observe the “Remembrance Day” on 11th November. Just like the United States, the “Remembrance Day” in Canada is aimed at honoring those who have served in the armed forces of Canada.
Also, in the honor of the martyrs, Canadians pay their tribute in the form of wearing red colored poppy flowers. Although in the U.S. wearing poppy flowers is mostly reserved for another occasion known as the Memorial Day. The key difference between the Memorial Day and the Veterans Day is that on the Memorial Day, only the contributions of the martyrs are thanked for. On Veterans Day, people express gratitude for both the living and the deceased veterans.
In addition to honoring the efforts of veterans on the Veterans Day, some restaurants and cafes in The United States have taken a step further. They provide free meals or impressive discounts to veterans on their special day. The credit for our freedom goes to these heroes. We cannot give them back what they have lost. They have lost so much for the nation’s sake that they deserve a day that is completely dedicated to appreciating and thanking their noteworthy contributions.