This Sunday is Veterans Day, a national holiday to honor veterans, servicemen and servicewomen who fought or are currently fighting in armed services. Originally named ‘Armistice Day’ on its creation in 1919 by President Wilson, the day was dedicated to “the heroism of those who died in the country’s service” and celebrated the WWI victory which allowed America to bestow peace and justice to other nations. In the aftermath of World War II, which caused the largest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the history of the nation up until that point, and America’s participation in the Korean War, Congress amended the day to be called ‘Veterans Day’ on June 1, 1954. Veterans Day would fall annually on November 11th and be a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
When I was younger, I associated Veterans Day with a day off from school or work and gave the actual veterans little thought. However, Veterans Day is so much more than that. It is a day to celebrate and honor those that have fought for the liberties and rights that we Americans are so lucky to have – including the right to vote, which so many Americans exercised this week. With their service and their lives, the heroes who have fought in wars past or present have given us an invaluable gift that we should take a moment to seriously acknowledge and appreciate. Countless men and women have selflessly given us so much and it’s crucial to not forget that.