While the American holiday of Veterans Day is widely recognized, some common misunderstandings exist, such as the correct spelling of the name or the people being honored. Here are the key points you need to know to set the record straight.
1- This Festive Occasion is Celebrated Worldwide, Not Just in the United States
Veterans from every country that participated in World Wars I and II are honored, not just in the United States but in every country that lost soldiers in those wars. Different traditions are observed in the United Kingdom, France, Australia, and Canada. In Canada, people wear red poppies on Remembrance Day to honor the memory of those who have passed. While commemorated in Australia as Remembrance Day, the event resembles our own Memorial Day. On the second Sunday of November, Britons observe Remembrance Sunday. Every year on November 11 at 11 a.m., people all over Europe, Great Britain, and the Commonwealth observe a two-minute silence in solidarity with the United States.
2- There is a Holiday Planning Group
A Veterans Day Committee exists; did you know that? In 1954, President Eisenhower convened a group of national veterans organization heads to form the Veterans Day National Committee. The official committee meets several times yearly in the nation’s capital, Washington D.C., to organize memorable Veterans Day celebrations. In addition to organizing celebrations, the committee focuses on spreading knowledge about the significance of the national holiday, especially among the young. The committee chooses a new national Veterans Day poster every year.
3- It Will Not Be on a Sunday
Because many people, veterans included, appreciate having the day off to celebrate Veterans Day, the holiday’s date can be moved so that all Americans can celebrate it annually. The event will be moved to the following Monday if November 11 falls on a Sunday. If the holiday is scheduled for a Saturday, however, it may be moved to the preceding Friday or left as a Saturday. If Veterans Day falls on a weekend, many employers will let their workers have an extra day off to celebrate with their families.
4- Veterans Day and Memorial Day are Two Different Holidays
We’ll be honest: it must be a little frustrating for the surviving veterans when people get this confused. On Memorial Day, we reflect on the lives lost while serving our country, focusing on those who were killed in action or later succumbed to their wounds. Veterans Day is a day to remember and thank all U.S. military personnel who have served their country in times of war or peace, whether they are still alive or not.
5- There is NO Apostrophe in “Veterans Day”
Many individuals erroneously believe that today is Veterans Day or Veteran’s Day. Since an apostrophe suggests ownership, it should be avoided in this context. Veterans Day does not “belong” to any one veteran or group of veterans. There should be no apostrophe because this is a day to recognize all veterans.
6- It is Historically Known as “Armistice Day”
The United States and its allies, including France and Britain, signed the Armistice with Germany on November 11, 1918, ending World War I. It became effective at 11 a.m. on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Armistice Day was first celebrated on November 11, 1919, as U.S. President Woodrow Wilson declared. For the benefit of World War I veterans, the United States Congress officially designated November 11 as Armistice Day in 1938.