This week, on November 11, we will celebrate Veterans Day. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace—dead or alive—although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.
A few other facts:
- Veterans Day does NOT have an apostrophe. A lot of people think it’s “Veteran’s Day” or “Veterans’ Day,” but the holiday is not a day that “belongs” to one veteran or multiple veterans, which is what an apostrophe implies. It’s a day for honoring all veterans, so no apostrophe is needed.
- Memorial Day is a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country, particularly in battle or from wounds they suffered in battle. Veterans Day honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.
- It was originally called Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I.
- Other countries celebrate it, too, in their own ways. Canada and Australia both call Nov. 11 “Remembrance Day.” Canada’s observance is pretty similar to our own, except many of its citizens wear red poppy flowers to honor their war dead. In Australia, the day is more akin to our Memorial Day. Great Britain calls it “Remembrance Day,” too, but observes it on the Sunday closest to Nov. 11 with parades, services and two minutes of silence in London to honor those who lost their lives in war.
- There were around 21.8 million veterans in the United States as of 2010.
- There are around 9 million veterans over the age of 65.
- Around 1.6 million veterans are women.
To all those who have served, thank you for your service.