“Thank You for your service.” That is a common refrain we hear not only at this time of year but all year long when we meet someone and they recognize our military service. 


Origins of Veterans Day

Unlike Memorial Day, on which we pause to remember the men and women that sacrificed all for the freedoms we enjoy today, Veterans Day is a day for all vets to be recognized and celebrated regardless of the era that they served in or how long their service lasted.

Veterans Day traces its origins to the end of WWI. The fighting in WWI ended when the Entente and Germany put into effect an armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as such. In 1938, it became an official holiday, primarily to honor veterans of World War I.

On June 1, 1954, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress amended the commemoration yet again by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so the day would honor American veterans of all wars.


The Continued Importance of Our Military Service

The one underlying element in our service to the nation is the impact and importance of military service on us and how it has impacted the rest of our lives, in some cases many decades after our military service had ended. 

Several years ago, I was at a gun show. A couple of WWII veterans from Easy Company, 506th Parachute Infantry Battalion, 101st Airborne Division (on which Band of Brothers is based) were also in attendance.