Veterans Day is a federal public holiday celebrated in the United States on November 11 each year. This holiday serves to honor the United States military veterans that include individuals who served as war combats and those who simply were in the army.
The Veterans Day has much historical importance to the citizens, so the US government reserved the day as one of its legal holidays. This day is significant because it gives Americans an opportunity to express gratitude towards the soldiers who serve in the military and those who fought various wars on their behalf. Americans display banners at their residences and business premises to honor this federal holiday due to its historical significance.
Major Wars that American Veterans Participated
Veterans are American citizens that served in the military as nurses, doctors, or soldiers. Currently, many living American veterans helped to maintain peace and fought several wars, including World War I from 1914 to 1918, World War II from 1939 to 1945, and the Korean War from 1950 to 1953. The other main wars that American military participated include the Vietnam War and Persian Gulf War fought from 1965 to 1973 and 1990 to 1991 respectively.
Events That Define the Veterans Day
Veterans Day is different from Memorial Day in several aspects. Memorial Day is observed to commemorate veterans who died in the line of military duty in the United States. However, US citizens honor every individual that has worked in the country's military in the past or still works at present. This implies that each year during Veterans Day, the nation celebrates the past and the present military personnel. On this day, the constitution mandates all federal agencies to be closed for the day's honor.
On Veterans Day, there are celebrations at Arlington National Cemetery. This venue is also called the Tomb of the Unknowns. The nation pays tribute to the war soldiers. Normally, there is a wreath-laying ceremony and American current president attends it. The local government entities and states observe the Veterans Day. However, the celebrations vary from one region to another across the country. Several towns hold parades, conduct military demonstrations such as flying shows held by Air Force, and organize memorial presentation. Other states and cities just enjoy a day off and are occupied with their personal activities at home without engaging in official duties. The citizens who are not employed by public schools or the federal agencies may fail to have a day off for Veterans Day. The decision to grant a day off for the celebrations for non-federal agency depends on the employers.
The closures of the federal government are overseen by the Office of Personnel Management. Closings of states and local authorities are managed locally. For the non-government entities, the closure is optional, which indicates that they can remain operational or close if they consider it appropriate regardless of federal government determinations. August 4, 2001 saw the country designate November 11 to 17 as Awareness Week through US Senate Resolution 143. This resolution required educational efforts to acquaint secondary school students as well as elementary students with the history pertaining the veterans’ sacrifices and contributions to the country.
History of the Veterans Day: Enactment
The World War I which was also referred to as The Great War came to an end with the official signing of the Treaty of Versailles on 28 of June 1919 outside the Versailles town, France. The signing did not correspond to the end of the war, since actual fighting was ceased seven months before when the stoppage of the war between Germany and the Associated Nations came into effect at 11 am, 11/11/1918. Consequently, November 11 is taken as the end of all wars. Americans honored their veterans until 1926, when the day was officially called Armistice Day. The United States Congress asked President Eisenhower to make it a legal holiday recognized by the laws on May 13, 1938. Initially, the holiday was meant to honor military personnel who had died in wars that the US participated. However, the onset of World War II in Europe destroyed the belief that WWI was the end of all wars. Therefore, this concept changed and the honor was extended to every living veteran, not just the former military officers. Thus, in 1954, on November 11, the name was officially changed to Veterans Day.
The Uniform Holidays Bill changed the observation of the holiday to the fourth Monday in October in 1968. This ensured that federal workers celebrated national holidays on Mondays. The holidays included the Columbus Day, Veterans Day, Memorial Day, and Washington's Birthday. This law came into effect in 1970. However, President Ford moved the Veterans Day celebrations to November 11 in 1975. His decision was informed by the historical significance of November 11.Besides, other countries including Canada, Australia, France, and Britain commemorated their WWI and WWII veterans around November 11. Each country designed unique ways of paying tribute to the men who served their militaries honorably, such as, for example, observing some moments of silence.
The country continues to celebrate the Veterans Day every year on November 11. The holiday observation occurs irrespective of the day of the week the festive falls. The act of President Ford aimed at restoring the observance of the holiday at its original date of November 11 preserved the historical importance and assisted in shifting the Americans' attention to the necessity of Veterans Day. These celebrations are a critical component of the US heritage, as they serve to respect the military personnel for their love of the country, patriotism, and willingness to offer outstanding service for the common good of the present and the future American generation .
Colors That Represent Veterans Day
The country does not have official legal colors that are typical of Veterans Day. However, the Americans have unique colors that they display during the Veterans Day holiday. These colors are white, blue, yellow, and red, since they carry special meaning to the people. They remind them of American armed forces. Yellow clothing or ribbons represent the color of troop's support. This color commemorates special groups including missing in action (MIA) and prisoners of war (POW). White, blue, and red depict the United States national flag colors. These colors are displayed by many people during the celebrations to symbolize patriotism.
Significance of the Veterans Day
Veterans Day is a special and a significant day to the American society. This day presents a good opportunity for remembrance of military personnel in the United States Armed Forces, some of whom are still in service. The holiday honors enormous contribution of the forces to the country's prosperity, considering the part the military play in providing security to the nation and winning great wars. The celebrations represent the appreciation of the US citizens regarding the veterans' service to the country. Such appreciations are expressed through standing ovations, particularly when veterans' honor flights get to the airports as over hundreds of United Service Organization centers grace the occasion. The military or veterans receive massive assistance from over 40, 000 charitable organizations that aim not only to honor them but also to strengthen the fighting force for the present and future generation.
Commemoration of the US military personnel has also made it possible for the federal government to ensure that service members engage in combat missions with a clear understanding that when they are injured or dead, their descendants or family members will be under great care. This contrasts other countries that do not have special days for their forces. With regard to the support provided to veterans, it should be mentioned that although America experienced both positive and negative moments throughout the history, consistent observation of Veterans Day has greatly shifted the country's administration focus to the affairs of the service men. The structures, programs, and indebtedness that the military require are agreed upon.
Custom Printed Banners for Veterans Day
Americans celebrate Veterans Day using custom printed banners that are displayed at the residential sites, business premises, and at the Arlington cemetery during commemorations. Every year, the Veterans Day Committees in partnership with Veterans Affairs Department ensure that custom commemorative posters are used for the celebrations. The banners are distributed to the Veterans Affairs facilities, and they also serve as the official cover of Veterans Day observations and the Arlington National Cemetery. They exemplify the country's rich history of service men and women and reveal the nation's pride and patriotism in honoring veterans.
In conclusion, the Veterans Day is a special day in the calendar of the United States observed on November 11. This is the moment when Americans honor the soldiers who defended their country selflessly. At first, the Armistice Day was observed to celebrate the military personnel, but it was renamed the Veterans Day in 1954. This day is significant as it is used to appreciate the work and the influence of the force's officers on the country's social, political, and economic prosperity. Most importantly, its observance is meant for both dead and living soldiers.