This is my personal salute to all my fellow veterans, including my father, uncles, and brothers who have served honorably. In the picture above, my dad is bottom row, center. He and his World War II B-26 crew are posing with their plane called “The Deefeater” named for the pilot’s wife, Dee. This crew was ten minutes ahead of the invasion forces at Normandy and can be seen in many documentary films taken at the time of the D-Day Invasion as they completed bombing runs against Nazi positions along the Normandy coast.
What is Veterans Day and why do we celebrate it?
Veterans Day is a federal holiday in the United States observed on November 11th each year dedicated to honoring and expressing gratitude to all military veterans who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It originated as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. It was initially meant to commemorate the armistice (ceasefire) that ended the hostilities on the Western Front of World War I.
In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day to honor all American veterans who have served honorably in any branch of the military.
The holiday is a time for Americans to pay tribute to the courage and sacrifice of veterans. Many communities hold parades, ceremonies, and other events to honor veterans. Schools often organize special programs to educate students about the importance of Veterans Day and the contributions of veterans.
The day is observed with a moment of silence at 11:00 a.m., which coincides with the signing of the armistice that ended World War I. This moment of silence is meant to reflect on the sacrifices made by veterans.
Veterans Day is an opportunity for the nation to recognize and thank veterans for their service, bravery, and dedication to defending the country and preserving its freedoms. It is a federal holiday, which means that federal government offices, banks, and many schools are closed.
Is it the same as Memorial Day? No.
Veterans Day should not be confused with Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday of May. Memorial Day specifically honors those who have died in military service, while Veterans Day honors all veterans, living and deceased.