Veterans Day is coming up this Friday, November 11. It is a great opportunity to honor all those (past and present) who have served in our military. However, as the day is coming up in less than a week, I wanted to dive into 10 Veterans (Day) facts. Some you might have known already and some might be a shock to you. It will be a combination of both Veterans Day facts and veterans facts, so brace yourselves.
- Veterans Day used to be Armistice Day – Back in 1918 during the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month (November 11), the temporary cessation of hostilities between Germany and the allies was celebrating its one-year anniversary. It is easy to figure out why this was such a huge celebration, and its legacy is carried out by Veterans Day to this day.
- Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11 – The 11th day of the 11th month is still an important day in American history. It is particularly important among for the troops. That’s why we celebrate our veterans on this day every year.
- Veterans Day is not Veteran’s Day – It is common misconception that Veterans Day uses an apostrophe with the word “veteran.” Heck, when I started putting this together I thought that was the case. However, it is just “Veterans” Day with no apostrophe.
- Veterans Day celebrates ALL armed forces members – While Memorial Day is a day in May that memorializes those veterans we lost, Veterans Day celebrates them all. Whether you are active duty or retired, this is a day to remember you and thank you for your service.
- Other countries have their own Veterans Day – Canadians wear red poppy flowers to honor the veterans lost in war on “Remembrance Day.” Great Britain holds parades, services and two minutes of silence to honor those lost on “Remembrance Day.” Australia celebrates Memorial Day in a similar way to America.
- Veterans Day is huge at Arlington National Cemetary – There should be no surprise here. On the 11th hour they start off their ceremony with a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknown Solder.
- Veterans Day is not an automatic day off school – Every school district gets the choice of whether they want to give kids a day off school on Veterans Day.
- Over 300,000 WWII American veterans were alive in 2020 – There were 16 million Americans who served in World War II. These stats are amazing considering the war had been over for 75 years at that point.
- There are over 20 million living veterans in the US (as of 2018) – 20.3 million to be exact. That means there are a lot of veterans for us to thank. Don’t be shy when it comes to Veterans Day (or any day in general) and thanking a veteran for their service.
- Veterans’ lives are not easy when they return home – While I’m sure this does not surprise you, it is something that truly goes without saying, especially during Veterans Month. They feel like strangers in their own homes a lot of times and may deal with PTSD. Let’s respect them and realize they might not be the easiest people to deal with considering all they went through.
Veterans Day is a great opportunity to thank a veteran, but this should not be the only day of the year we show our appreciation for them. They have fought for our freedoms and deserve to be treated with respect and honor. So go and thank a veteran no matter what day it is, but especially this Veterans Day.