- SWATHI RAMASWAMY
- UPDATED Sep 21, 2018
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There are more than 3 million veterans in The United states of America who have served and are currently serving the Federal Military Agencies of the nation. The day reveres these veterans who protect the nation during the crisis situations. This day does not commemorate the dead veterans alone but the living and the dead.
The Veterans Day is often mistakenly written as ‘Veteran’s Day’ or ‘Veteran’s Day’, the correct orthography of the day as accepted by the American Government is ‘Veterans day’ without an apostrophe.
Veterans Day is celebrated in the United States of America with pomp and splendor on the 11 of November every year. The day marks the gratitude towards the sincere and invaluable service rendered by the military personnel of the United States in guarding its citizens. This day commemorates all the veterans who are and who were part of the military and has contributed to nation’s upliftment
1. The Origin
The date 11 November is famed for the mark of the complete end of the First World War repressions after the Treaty of Versailles. The United States of America remembered the day of November 11 as the Armistice Day which initially commemorated the death of brave military personnel who sacrificed their lives for the nation during the First World War. But in 1919, the then President Woodrow Wilson, stressed on the need to throw light into the contributions of all the military staff rather than the martyred alone. Later in 1926 President Calvin Coolidge insisted the citizens and the country to celebrate the event with more enthusiasm. In 1945, a Veteran Officer Raymond Weeks started organizing Armistice Day celebrations on a greater level commemorating all veterans, a work which he continued till 1985. This gained popular attention. On May 26, 1954 the Uniform Holiday Bill was proposed in the parliament to replace the Armistice Day with Veterans Day. After a month, on June 1, Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day under the signature of Dwight D. Eisenhower. Since then, the day is observed as a Federal Holiday. Raymond Weeks who stood behind the idea came to be known as the “Father of Veterans Day” later on.
2. Federal Holiday
Veterans Day is a federal holiday in USA. All federal institutions under the government will have a holiday. The military personnel will have a rest for the day from their duties with a payment for the day. If the day occurs along with another holiday, another day of leave is provided as per the constitution to all the federal personnel. All other government offices function on the day. Schools are allowed to remain open or closed for the day. Most of the schools engage their students in patriotic activities during the day. All mail services and transport activities do not function on the day. As many as 27 states of America consider the day as a legal holiday on which the flag will be flared up in all the governmental institution of the state.
3. A day of patriotism
Veterans Day is today considered as a patriotic day which is celebrated to honour the brave minds of the military agencies. National flags are hosted and patriotic songs are sung .The day evokes the spirit of nationalism and commitment to the nation. The day is considered an important day of the nation which is celebrated with unity
4. National Veterans Day Ceremony
National Veterans Day ceremony takes place every year at the Arlington Cemetery initiated with laying wreaths at the ‘Tomb of the Unknowns ‘ followed by a ceremonial parade inside the Memorial Amphitheatre and award ceremony which pay respects to the sincere services rendered by veterans. There is a National Veterans Day Committee which decides the places all over the nation which would host official Veterans Day celebrations. This committee meets once in three years and issues instructions to schools and teachers to observe the day involving the active participation of students. Every year November will be considered as the National Veterans and their Families’ month according to the decision taken in 2017 by President Mr. Donald Trump.
Often the day is misinterpreted and swapped in the place of Memorial Day which remembers the martyred military personnel. Every Veterans Day is revered with a two minute silence at 11.am on all the institutions, governmental and nongovernmental, in the nation. There are special church services which pray for the military staff and commemorate their service. Parades occur all over the nation, especially in schools, in which military officers are called on to speak about their experience and share their thoughts to inspire the young generation. They flaunt their army badges and achievements with pride and valor. The parades also showcase the contributions and achievements of military towards the welfare of the state. The National Veterans Day Parade takes place in New York which starts from Downtown and proceeds to Birmingham. In most of the places the celebrations are characterized with gatherings and placing flower wreaths in the tombs and cemeteries of the deceased military staff. The celebrations involve taking the Pledge of Allegiance and singing of The U.S.A National Anthem.
6. Special discounts
The day is marked with special discounts and giveaways in eating outlets and other departmental stores.
Thus, Veterans Day is an important day in the United States of America just like Remembrance Day in The United Kingdom and Armed Forces Day in India.