Veteran's Day has always been one of those days I never got off school, so I never paid much attention. I'm guessing even those who do get the day off don't give it the attention it deserves. One of my coworkers just told me a story about his daughter:
Daughter: Woohoo, we have the day off!
Dad: What for?
Daughter: Veteran's Day
Dad: Do you know what a veteran is?
Dad: Brief definition of veterans, and tells her that grandpa is one.
Daughter: Ok, can I put the radio back on?
Rather than let another Veterans day go by unnoticed, let's this opportunity to inform kids about the sacrifices and patriotism of soldiers and veterans.
Check out some classroom activities and guides at http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/index.asp.
Here's a brief overview of how Veterans Day came to be:
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn 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…" Read more
In 1926, Congress officially declared November 11 to be Veterans Day.
On this Veterans Day, VA Secretary Dr. James B. Peake shares his thoughts about the holiday:
"Ninety years ago today, the guns fell silent in Europe. World War I – the “war to end all wars” – was over. Almost five million Americans served during that first modern, mechanized war. Our last living link with them, 107-year-old Army veteran Frank Buckles, observes this Veterans Day at his farm in West Virginia."
It is important, on Veterans Day, for all Americans to reflect on the service and sacrifice of our veterans, from Mr. Buckles to the men and women who recently fought for us in Iraq and Afghanistan. Their bravery, their resourcefulness, and their patriotism mark them as our nation’s finest citizens.
If you want to learn more about veteran organizations, get involved or make a donation, check out http://www1.va.gov/VSO/index.cfm?template=view
Commemorate the veterans or soldiers in your life in the comments section.