Veterans Day Facts That May Surprise You

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How much do you know about Veterans Day? While every November 11, we honor those who’ve served our nation, Veterans Day remains one of the least understood holidays. Let’s look at a few lesser-known facts about a holiday that illustrates why the source of our nation’s greatness has always been its people.

4 Facts About Veterans Day That You May Not Know

1. Veterans Day vs. Veteran’s Day

There’s a reason we use Veterans Day instead of Veteran’s Day. The absence of the apostrophe may seem trivial, but it’s not. It’s significant. The Department of Veterans Affairs website defines Veterans Day as “set aside to thank and honor all those who’ve served honorably [during] wartime or peacetime.” Adding an apostrophe changes the meaning, making it a day that belongs to veterans instead of a day set aside to honor them. What may have sounded like semantics initially is anything but. We’ve all heard the phrase “words matter”—well, so does punctuation.

2. November vs. October

Veterans Day is synonymous with November 11. We can’t imagine it any other way, or can we? Older readers may remember that for six years in the 1970s, Veterans Day fell on the fourth Monday of October. In the late 1960s, Congress introduced the Uniform Monday Holiday Act to increase the number of three-day weekends in hopes of stimulating the economy. It mandated that we observe Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day, and Veterans Day on Mondays. This caused a split in our country, with some states continuing the tradition of November 11 and others opting to follow the new guidelines. Confusion ensued. In 1978, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 9497, which returned Veterans Day to its traditional date.

3. Veterans Day vs. Armistice Day

If you’re wondering what Armistice Day is, you’re not alone. Many younger Americans don’t realize that Veterans Day was initially Armistice Day, named in recognition of the 1918 armistice that unofficially ended WWI. In 1938, it became an official holiday to honor WWI Veterans. Unfortunately, the following decades were far from peaceful, with millions of Americans serving in WWII and the Korean War. To reflect this reality, on June 1, 1954, Congress officially renamed it Veterans Day to include those who served after WWI.

4. Veterans Day vs. Memorial Day

Americans have become more aware of the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day over the past few years. However, there’s still much confusion. Ask a veteran in your life how often people mix them up, or worse, say “Happy Memorial Day.” Earlier, we touched on the Department of Veterans Affairs’ definition of Veterans Day. In addition, their website also states, “Veterans Day is largely intended to thank living veterans for their service… and to underscore that all who’ve served—not only those who’ve died—have sacrificed and done their duty.” In contrast, Memorial Day is a time to reflect on and honor veterans killed in defense of our great nation. The Department of Veterans Affairs defines Memorial Day as “a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who’ve died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.”

There’s no better way to celebrate Veterans Day than by supporting Veterans. In January, a team of former Special Operators will attempt to complete seven skydives, on seven continents, in seven days to provide the families of fallen/disabled Veterans with 1,400 life-changing scholarships. It’s called the Triple 7 Expedition, and every dollar raised goes directly to Folds of Honor.

Help the children of America’s heroes get the education they deserve by making your tax-deductible donation online or texting Triple7 to 76278. This is your chance to thank veterans by helping educate their legacy.

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