Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a relatively new holiday that has gone through a few changes over the decades. There has been a big deal this year that the date is all ones - the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 2011. But the backstory is that the armistice (which is what the day originally celebrated) between the warring nations of World War I "went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month".

When I was growing up, there was still confusion over what the day was called. Armistice Day, which only celebrated the American veterans of World War I, or Veterans Day (as it was renamed in 1954), honoring the veterans of all wars. (For more information on its history, visit here.)

Whichever it was called, the day was important in my family and community. My Uncle George fought in the Battle of Okinawa and later in the Korean War. Several of my cousins joined the military. The director of the university library where I worked had fought at the Battle of the Bulge (and on slow days at work would talk about some of it). I have friends who are currently serving and others who have retired from the military.

There are those who see Veterans Day as only another holiday. The news media in my area might bring up the Armistice Day blizzard of 1940 when many duck hunters died in a sudden snow storm that hit Minnesota, Wisconsin and Michigan.

Veterans Day will mean different things to different people. A day off work, a day without mail delivery, or a day of parades and tributes honoring those who have served our country.

Thank you for your service, veterans.

1 comment:

  1. Yes, our veterans should be honored, for without them we might not have the freedoms we have. Nice post, Kathy.