Veterans Day: Honoring Those Who Have Served for America

On November 11, we take pride in thanking those who have laid down their life for our country.

Reese Czarniecki, Sandscript Author

Every year, on November 11, our nation comes together to honor those who have lay down their life to serve our country. This national holiday known as Veterans Day or “Armistice Day” celebrates the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 which signaled the end of World War I. Throughout the United States of America, there are thousands of those who serve and protect our country. They are parents, children, grandparents, bosses, neighbors, teachers, coworkers, and are all a very important part to not only their communities, but also their nation. They leave their lives to fight for our country and our freedom, and put our needs above theirs at every cost. Veterans Day serves to honor and thank all who served the United States in all wars, particularly living veterans. 

A veteran is described as someone who has formally served as a member of the Armed Forces of the United States. This could be in any branch of the military, including Army, Navy, Air Force, Marine Corps, and Coast Guard. They would have served in active duty, and had been discharged under certain conditions. In the present United States, about 17.4 million veterans live and thrive in this country. About 7% of the population consists of veterans, and about 1% of the population is active duty personnel.

The United States celebrates Veterans Day not just to honor those who have served, but also to  commemorate the end of World War I. On November 11,1919, Armistice Day was celebrated for the first time. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed that the day should be full of prayer and thanksgiving. Finally, on May 13, 1938, Armistice Day was initiated as a legal holiday. It wasn’t until Congress changed the name of the holiday on June 1, 1954, that it would become known as Veteran’s Day. 

Throughout the years, very special traditions have been brought to life to honor and thank those during Veterans Day. The holiday is marked with parades and church services throughout America, and in many places, the American flag is hung at half mast.  Some will fly flags of the military branches.  A two minute period of silence may also take place at 11 AM, and even Federal government offices close on November 11. 

The American people take great pride in honoring the veterans of this great nation on November 11. Personally, one can honor a veteran by attending a Veteran’s Day event, hanging a flag at half mast, writing a letter to a veteran, and supporting and visiting veteran’s memorials. Most importantly, thank those veterans, who have fought for our country, and never take them for granted.