Veterans Day isn't exactly one of the most easily-remembered holidays in the American calendar. Most people don't even remember what day it is, or what we're supposed to remember about it, aside from veterans who have served in a war.
If you're not in the military, Veterans Day generally is just seen as a quick day off of work and a potential sale at Macy's. Sometimes, people even get Veterans Day confused with other national holidays. Some people don't even know what Veterans Day is supposed to be about, or that it even exists!
This is a shame, and it needs to be fixed. Maybe it's time to talk about what is Veterans Day, and why we celebrate it.
What is Veterans Day?
Veterans Day, which is on November 11, was originally called Armistice Day. Armistice Day was made to commemorate the end of World War I. President Woodrow Wilson declared this a national holiday back in 1918, as a way to unite the country together after one of the most devastating wars in history.
Later on, as the Great War became less relevant, the day was reinvented as a celebration of all veterans. Unlike Memorial Day, which celebrates those who died serving, Veterans day celebrates all veterans — living and dead.
What is Veterans Day like, celebration-wise?
How Veterans Day is celebrated will depend on where you are. There are no national guidelines, and no national requirements saying that all businesses have to close on this day. Many federal and state services close in honor of this day.
It's also fairly common to see Veterans Day parades and ceremonies throughout national memorials and parks. So, sometimes, it's just barely acknowledged — other times, it's a full-blown celebration.
In recent years, the US government has also been issuing our commemorative Veterans Day posters for people who request them. Generals and other high ranking military men also are asked to speak this day.
America isn't the only country that celebrates Veterans Day. Veterans Day is also celebrated by other countries, many of which also were involved in World War I. Most countries choose November 11 as the day of celebration.
Since Veterans Day and the birth of the US Army are only one day apart, many sects of the Armed Forced celebrate both at the same time. They call this a "Liberty Period," and that celebration is usually around 96 hours long.
What is Veterans Day supposed to do?
Veterans Day is supposed to get us to think about the people who serve in the military — and get us to thank them once in a while. So, if you have a military member in your life, then take this time to show some appreciation for all they do.