Embracing the Patriotism Surrounding Veterans Day
Every year on November 11, the United States stands together to pay tribute to our veterans. It's a time to honor those who have served our great country and fought for our freedom. Veterans Day is one of the most important national holidays, and it’s a chance for every American citizen to exhibit their patriotism.
Whether you’re a former member of the armed forces, part of a military family or just a citizen who appreciates everything that our veterans have given us, Veterans Day is a chance to say thank you, and to appreciate those who put cause and country first, over all else.
Why we Celebrate Veteran’s Day
We celebrate Veterans Day as a way to say, "thank you for your service" to the brave men and women who have served in the United States military. It's a day to give collective thanks to those who put the country's needs above all else, who served in uniform for the United States of America.
Beyond celebrations and acknowledgements, Veterans Day is filled with benefits for veterans, as a way to show appreciation to prior and current military members. From local community activities to a free lunch, it’s a day to go out of the way to make the life of a veteran better.
Fun Facts About Veterans Day
Veterans Day has been celebrated for more than a century, and going back through time, it’s clear why. Veterans have always been on the front lines of keeping our freedoms safe. This holiday is as storied as the veterans it celebrates, and rightfully so!
Want to know more about the background of this special day? Check out these interesting facts about the origin and meaning behind Veterans Day:
- Veterans Day was originally known as “Armistice Day,” a celebration of the cease fire ending World War I which occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
- Armistice Day was renamed to Veterans Day in 1954. This reflected the fact that the United States had fought in two major wars since the Armistice—World War II and the Korean War. By changing the name to “Veterans Day,” Congress intended the holiday to honor all veterans.
- Other countries hold similar celebrations to honor their veterans. Canada and Australia have also set aside November 11 as a day to remember the sacrifice of those who served in their armed forces.
- Veterans Day is never held on a Sunday. Many workers enjoy a day off on the holiday, and if November 11 falls on a Sunday, the federal holiday is typically moved to the next day—Monday.
- Many people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day, but there’s a significant difference between the two holidays. While Memorial Day honors Americans who’ve died in the line of duty, Veterans Day celebrates all Americans who have served.
- There’s also a unique holiday called “Atomic Veterans Day.” In 1983, President Reagan designated July 16 as National Atomic Veterans Day, a day to remember the veterans who participated in nuclear weapons testing between 1945 and 1962 and those who served in or around Hiroshima and Nagasaki during World War II. While Reagan’s designation was a one-time commemoration, current President Joe Biden reintroduced Atomic Veteran’s Day. Representative Abigail Spanberger is heading a legislative initiative to make it an annual holiday.
Ways to Celebrate Veterans Day
When you're wondering how to celebrate Veterans Day, the answer depends on whether you yourself are a veteran or not.
If you are a veteran, make sure to take advantage of the generosity of everyone honoring you today—you absolutely deserve it! From free meals to extraordinary shopping discounts, Veterans Day specials were created with you in mind.
For those who might not be veterans but want to do their part to show appreciation for our United States veterans, there are many ways to do so:
- Attend a parade. There are Veterans Day parades on November 11 in nearly every city and town in the country. It’s a great way to meet neighbors in your community, express appreciation for a veteran and even enjoy some fresh air. Make sure you’re wearing your patriotic apparel to show your spirit.
- Spend Veterans Day, or any other day, volunteering at a local veteran’s home, for your local VA or for any other program that directly assists veterans. It’s a direct way to have a positive impact on the lives of those who have served.
- Buy a meal for a veteran. Offer to purchase a meal for a veteran any day of the year to show your appreciation for all they’ve done for this country.
- Wear patriotic clothing. Show off your American spirit and show your support for veterans by wearing your favorite patriotic clothing for Veterans Day. Shirts, hats, jackets, accessories—wear all your red, white and blue gear to showcase your patriotism in style.
Celebrate Veterans Day with Your Patriotic Spirit
Veterans Day is a time to appreciate the sacrifices of those who’ve bravely served our country. No matter what way you choose to celebrate Veterans Day, make sure you wear your patriotic attire as you show your love for our country. And, of course, have a safe, happy holiday!
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