This weekend, as you are enjoying the three-day holiday in honor of Veterans Day, do take at least a few minutes to pay your respects to all the men and women who have served the country in our armed forces. These include the members of the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and the Coast Guard.
Originally dubbed Armistice Day, it was first declared a holiday in 1938, to commemorate the end of World War 1, which happened at 11.am on 11/11/1918. Since then, the day, which was dedicated to the cause of 'World Peace' has always been celebrated on November 11th. In 1954, after the US had been involved in two other wars, World War II and the Korean War, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day, in honor of the veterans of all the wars.
Many people are not aware of the difference between Memorial Day and Veterans Day. While both honor our military personnel, the former is a day to remember and honor all the men and women that died serving our country in a war, while today, we celebrate all the living veterans who have served in the forces whether in peace or war.
Though several other countries celebrate this day in honor of their own veterans, the celebration is slightly different in each country. Some, like the United Kingdom celebrate it in honor of all soldiers, living or dead, while others like Canada celebrate it in honor of all living veterans. They also call it different names. France and New Zealand still call it Armistice Day. In the United Kingdom, Australia and Canada, it is dubbed Remembrance Day and in Malta and South Africa, it is called Poppy Day.
No matter what it is called, the reason for observing the day is the same - To show our gratitude to the brave men and women who sacrifice everything to make this world a safer place for the rest of us.