On November 11, we celebrate Veterans Day in the United States. But what is the meaning of this federal holiday? Why is it important and how can you show veterans your appreciation? We answer the most frequent questions about Veterans Day.
Veterans Day: The meaning and importance of the federal holiday
In 1918, “at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month”, the hostilities between nations during World War I ended. To mark this day, the United States and other nations introduced a holiday that is celebrated on November 11. Since 1954, we’ve been calling it “Veterans Day” in the United States.
It’s important not to confuse Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Both holidays have a special meaning and both are about paying respect to military personnel. But, while we honor our veterans who are still alive on Veterans Day, on Memorial Day we remember people who died in the service of the U.S.
What was Veterans Day originally called and how do you spell it correctly?
“Veterans Day” was not the original name of this holiday. It used to be called “Armistice Day”, when the American people were still celebrating only the events from 1918. After the Second World War, this day was renamed to “Veterans Day” in the United Stated and “Remembrance Day” in the United Kingdom and the Commonwealth.
Maybe you’ve seen the name being spelled “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day”. But the correct spelling is indeed “Veterans Day”, according to the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. Using an apostrophe would change its meaning to a day that “belongs” to the veterans – when it’s actually a day for honoring them.
Parade, free meals and more: How do we celebrate Veterans Day?
In order to show respect towards the veterans, military parades take place and many businesses offer free meals for veterans and active duty personnel. Also, depending on the closure policies of the state and the local government, you might also get the day off to celebrate Veterans Day.
There are also some nice ways that you can celebrate this day and show veterans your appreciation:
- Participate in the Two-Minute National Moment of Silence, to honor the fallen Veterans.
- Donate to a charity or organization that supports the U.S. Armed Forces.
- Visit a Veteran Memorial.
- Fly an American flag.
- Wear a red poppy (a Veterans Day symbol) or a pin, hat or other item displaying the American flag.
Please make sure you celebrate according to the Coronavirus measures.