Today is Veterans Day.
Tucker’s a veteran. Mom’s second husband was a Marine sniper during Vietnam and received three Purple Hearts for his trouble. My grandpa was in WWII and Korea and would have gone to Vietnam if he hadn’t retired. My grandma’s [Grandpa’s wife] first husband was in the Army and died a war hero in WWII.
Veterans Day used to be called Armistice Day because it commemorated the signing of the armistice between the “good guys” and the “bad guys” at the end of WWI. Side note: armistice essentially means truce.
Back in 1919, Woodrow Wilson was the first president to set up an Armistice Day. This is part of Wilson’s speech on that first Armistice Day:
To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.
In ’38, Armistice Day officially became a legal holiday and federal workers everywhere rejoiced at an additional day off.
’54 was when Armistice Day turned into Veterans Day so the day could be about all vets and not just about the WWI guys.
It seems like everyone gets Memorial Day and Veterans Day mixed up. Most people just know they’re both about the military and old guys and they must be the same, right? Not exactly. Memorial Day remembers–pays memorial to–our dead. Veterans Day remembers ALL veterans – alive or dead.
Just about everyone’s lives have been impacted by a veteran and I’m not talking about that whole, “We’re free because they served.” thing though that’s totally true. I’m talking about parents or grandparents or aunts, uncles, cousins, friends, neighbors…you get the idea.
You get the idea.
Find a veteran today and honestly thank them for what they went through. Think about why you appreciate them and let them know. It’s easy as hell to forget about the military and what they do on a daily basis. Today’s the one day that’s theirs and they deserve the recognition more than anyone.