Over a hundred years ago, the “Great War,” or World War I officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting ceased on Nov 11, 1918, which is why it is often said that the fighting ended “on the eleventh day, on the eleventh month, in the eleventh hour.” Explaining why Veteran’s Day is always observed on this day, even over a century later. According to the U.S. department of Veterans Affairs, the purpose of Veteran’s Day is “a celebration to honor American’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willing to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day as a day to celebrate the Great War veterans. “In 1926, Congress called for an
annual observance of the day,” according to uso.org. Over a decade later, Armistice Day was declared as a federal holiday in 1938.
After World War II and the United States’ influence in the Korean War, the word “armistice” was replaced with “veterans,” as to recognize all American veterans, and Nov. 11 has been recognized as Veterans’ Day since 1954.
The reason for celebration of Veterans can sometimes be confused for the reason of celebration for Memorial Day. Although both holidays are observed to honor our military, Veterans Day recognizes all those who have served, while Memorial Day recognizes those who lost their lives in their service to our country.
Veterans Day is supposed to be a day of reflection, not celebration, according to military.com. “Retired Air Force Capt. Rodney Haworth believes this difference in the way the holiday is celebrated is because ‘the military experience is [usually] something to which non-vets are
never exposed. … The general public has [less understanding] of how serious the situation can become,. However, it may feel appropriate to show gratitude to
our veterans during this time, but some veterans do are tired of how obligatory the “thanks for your service” statement may be. “Recognizing that most veterans
serve to fulfill an inner calling and sense of personal responsibility — and not to seek fame and glory — will go further than thanking them for their service ever
than thanking them for their service ever could,” according to military.com. “Relating to your veteran over your mutual pride for and love of this nation and her people will convey your gratitude for their service in a personal and meaningful way.”
Not one veteran is the same. Not all veterans have experienced the same events, and if it was the same event, they may not have experienced that event the same way. “Even within the same unit, each service member will have a different experience — some painful, some triumphant and
some both,” according to military. com. “Making assumptions about a service member’s experience can do more harm than good, so make sure to approach your conversations with care.”
There are lots of ways people and communities have honored our veterans. In Orange City, there is a veteran’s memorial park located just east of campus. “The Veterans Memorial Park in Orange City, Iowa, stands out from many memorials as it lists wars and conflicts people have forgotten about or heard about,” according to stonegrouparchitechs.com. “Names of the Veterans from the
Orange City Area who have died or served are listed in six marble pillars according to the wars or conflicts they were in and the branch of service in which they served.”
NW student Ashley Montes appreciates our veterans. “To me, it is not something that I viewed in my life, because I do not have any family members who have served, but I do think that it is very important to show respect towards people to have served in the past,” Montes said. “It takes a lot of time, dedication and sacrifice. I find it very honorable.”