When my eyes fixed on the month of November on the wall calendar, I automatically groaned aloud when I noticed the two days blocked off the calendar this week. I’m quite sure that I am not alone here, and that there are many other parents who share this same sentiment. We all have to adjust for a disruption of our regular routine, once again - the cause of my groan was the placement of two green highlighted days that represent no school for that day- both in the same week! What was the school thinking? I thought. It was only after I read the small print on the calendar that I realized the importance of the two school-free days coming up. They are the traditional observance of Election Day and Veteran’s Day, respectively.
I wish to focus your attention on Veteran’s Day, since it holds a special place in my heart. My father was a Veteran from WWII. He has since passed away, but his courage and valor live on. Through the years, I have picked up bits and pieces of interesting information regarding the observance and practices of Veteran’s Day. For example, did you ever wonder how the observance of Veteran’s Day came about? I did - and here is what I found out:
Veteran’s day was originally called Armistice Day, and it began as a holiday that was designed to honor all the soldiers who had fought courageously side by side in World War I. The first time that it was nationally celebrated on November 11 was in 1921, and it has become a traditional observance and remembrance ever since. Each year there are countless parades and special events happening throughout the nation as people gather to pay tribute and give thanks to the selflessness of all the countless veterans who have fought for our collective freedoms.
Here is another interesting tidbit of information: Did you ever wonder why a gift of a poppy was given in exchange for a monetary contribution? This tradition originated during WWI. There was a very bloody battle at Flanders Field in Belgium. There was debris everywhere. Over time the debris mixed in with the soil and became fertile ground for poppies and they flourished in abundance. The rich crimson color was reminiscent of the blood spilled by Veterans. This is how the poppy became a symbol of veterans.
Veterans’ Day is fraught with celebrations in the form of parades, memorials and speeches designed to pay tribute to war heroes who put their lives on the line to keep our country safe every day. In the United States, Veteran’s Day is always observed as a nation by the somber laying of a presidential wreath at the Tomb of the unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery.
As Veteran’s Day nears I realize that soon enough we will be celebrating Thanksgiving! What a perfect addition to the cornucopia of things to be grateful for! I just want to say to veterans everywhere -Thank You!
This Article was Written by Jackie Kingston.
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