For many of us Americans, Veterans Day equates to a 3-day weekend, and not much more. But, November 11th is actually a day with a purpose. Most of all, It’s dedicated to acknowledging the hard work and dedication of the women and men who serve in our country’s armed forces. This includes each and every member of the United States Army, Marine Corps, Air Force, Navy and the Coast Guard.
Veterans Day was first celebrated back in 1938 to honor the soldiers who bravely served for us during World War I. Originally called Armistice Day, the November 11th date was chosen to commemorate the date the 1st world war ended, which was 11-11-1918. Also called “The Great War,” its end was officially dubbed “the war to end all wars.”
By 1954, the United States had taken part in two more major wars… World War II (September 1, 1939 – September 2, 1945) and the Korean War (June 25, 1950 – July 27, 1953). Many of our brave soldiers had actually fought in all three of these wars by then. So, in honor of them, the commemorative date was renamed Veterans Day.
Memorial Day vs Veterans Day
Many American’s have no idea that Memorial Day and Veterans Day are not memorialized for the same reasons. Both are celebrated in honor of all US military personnel. However, although subtle, there are differences between these two holidays:
•Memorial Day – Celebrated to pay respect to and remember the fallen soldiers who have actually died while serving our country in various wars
•Veterans Day – Celebrated to honor the vets that are still alive and have served as soldiers in the armed forces during either wartime or peacetime