WEDNESDAY, NOVEMBER 11: Give a virtual shout-out, call a veteran you know or make a sign to express your gratitude to a veteran in your neighborhood, today—the options are endless! However you recognize those who served America, Veterans Day is celebrated today across the country; in Canada, those who served are also recognized, in an observance known as Remembrance Day.
2020 NEWS: The U.S. Army will open the National Museum of the United States Army on this date—November 11, 2020—in Fort Belvoir, Virginia. (Read the story from the U.S. Army, or in the Fort Lee Traveler.) It will be the only museum to relay the entire history of the U.S. Army since its establishment, in 1775. The museum will open its doors to the public today (with health safety measure in place), but the opening will be preceded by a small ceremony that will be livestreamed. A link to the livestream will be posted on the museum’s website, at http://www.theNMUSA.org.
In the United States, the idea of setting aside a special day to honor the men and women who served their country dates to a Nov. 11 observance at the close of World War I. The world’s “Great War” officially ceased on June 28, 1919, but the fighting had actually stopped seven months earlier, on Nov. 11—and thus, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11, 1919 as the first Armistice Day. Nearly two decades later, November 11th was declared a legal holiday in the United States.
By 1954, the world had survived WWII and the Korean War, and a WWII vet began raising support for a more general Veterans Day. Among other arguments made in this campaign: WWII had required even more soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen than WWI. At the urging of citizens, November 11th officially became Veterans Day in 1954.
In Canada, Remembrance Day is observed with a moment of silence and ceremonies. Remembrance Day, originally called Armistice Day, was first observed in 1919 throughout the British Commonwealth in commemoration of the armistice agreement that ended World War I. Armistice Day was first observed as “Remembrance Day” on November 11, 1931; the poppy is the official symbol of the day.
HELP A VET; LEND A HAND
America’s millions of veterans need help for a wide range of lingering issues in their lives, so be sure to check on regional efforts to find out how you can help. Some noted peace activists within religious groups now are urging a greater awareness of the needs of veterans’ families, too.
Did you know? A whopping 44 percent of men and women who serve in the U.S. Military are residents of rural areas, according to a White House Report—even though rural residents overall only account for 17 percent of the country’s population.
2020 VETERANS DAY FREEBIES & DISCOUNTS: Many restaurants and retailers offer special prices for veterans on Veterans Day, though this year, things may look a little different amid struggling businesses and new health and safety protocols. (Military.com has an article on this story.)
Check out MilitaryBenefits.info for a full listing restaurants, retailers and more offering Veterans Day freebies and discounts for 2020.