This guide will tell you what you need to know about the meaning of Veterans Day, when it began, and more, so you can know what you’re celebrating!
Veterans Day gets a lot of buzz, but many of us still don’t understand the meaning of this national holiday. If you’ve ever wondered what the words Veterans Day mean, by the end of this article, you’ll never have to wonder again. You’ll even know how to use it in a sentence and the history behind it, too.
What Is the Meaning of Veterans Day?
In the United States, Veterans Day is the annual holiday on November 11th that honors military veterans who have served in any branch of the United States Armed Forces.
The United States Armed Forces include:
- U.S. Army (USA), established June 14th, 1775
- U.S. Navy (USN), established October 13th, 1775
- U.S. Air Force (USAF), established June 26th, 1947
- U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), established August 4th, 1790
- U.S. Marine Corps (USMC), established November 10th, 1775
- U.S. Space Force (USSF), established December 20th, 2019
Veterans Day has a unique history. To understand why we observe Veterans Day, it’s important to learn more about its history.
What Is the History of Veterans Day?
Originally, Veterans Day was Armistice Day, a legal holiday that honored the end of World War I. World War I ended following an armistice between the Allied forces and Germany at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. While this effectively marked the end of hostilities, the war officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. In 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday through an act passed by Congress.
Veterans service organizations urged Congress to establish a day that honored all veterans. In 1954, the 83rd Congress of the United States amended the 1938 act that established Armistice Day, and they renamed the day Veterans Day. By June 1, 1954, November 11th became a legal holiday observed in honor of all American veterans.
Due to the Uniforms Holiday Bill of 1968, three-day weekends were mandated for federal employees for four national holidays, observed on Mondays. The holidays were:
- Washington’s Birthday
- Memorial Day
- Veterans Day
- Columbus Day
Veterans Day was slated for the fourth Monday of October, and the first Veterans Day was observed on October 25th, 1971. However, the change from its original November 11th date confused many.
Thanks to President Gerald Ford, Veterans Day returned to its original date of November 11th in 1978. Since then, no changes have been made to the date, and it is still observed on November 11th. If November 11th occurs on a Saturday or Sunday, employees are given the adjacent Friday or Monday off in observance of the day.
What Does Veterans Day Mean Today?
Veterans Day may be a legal holiday in the United States, but other countries also commemorate veterans of World War I and World War II on or around November 11th, such as:
- Great Britain (Remembrance Sunday)
- Canada (Remembrance Day)
In Europe, two minutes of silence is commonly observed at 11 a.m. every year on November 11th as well.
In the United States, there are many ways to commemorate and observe Veterans Day. Here are a few ways that you might honor, celebrate, or pay tribute to U.S. veterans on Veterans Day:
- Attend ceremonies that honor our veterans
- Participate or attend Veterans Day parades
- Express gratitude for their heroism to the veterans in your life
- Volunteer with local veteran organizations
- Offer sympathy to the families of those who lost their lives in the country’s service
- Help put an American flag on each of the graves of service members in your local cemeteries
This federal holiday is about more than a long weekend, and it should be honored and observed with solemn pride by all Americans.
Are There Synonyms For Veterans Day?
Synonyms have essentially the same meaning as other words, and this can apply to holidays.
Some holidays are commemorated around the world, and some are more localized. For others, days can have similar meanings in variouw parts of the world, despite differences in dates and traditions.
Finding a synonym is not always easy, but here are a couple of synonyms for Veterans Day:
- Armistice Day
- Remembrance Day
- November 11th
Are There Antonyms For Veterans Day?
Antonyms have the opposite meaning of a word. This doesn’t really apply when you are defining a day. Perhaps the best antonym for Veterans Day is just any other day of the year.
Although many people would argue that you should carry the meaning of the day with you always, there are 364 other days in a year that are not Veterans Day — 365 days in a leap year.
What Are Examples of Using Veterans Day in a Sentence?
Example sentences are a great way to understand a word’s meaning because you can see how the word is supposed to be used. This can give your understanding of the word more depth and prepare you to use the word in a sentence yourself.
Here are a few example sentences for Veterans Day:
- It was an honor to serve breakfast at the VFW on Veterans Day.
- The Veterans Day parade is always held at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month as it should be.
- We spend our Veterans Day together as a family because we’re so thankful to be one of the lucky ones whose dad got to come back home.
- Veterans Day provides an opportunity to bring awareness to Veteran Suicide Prevention.
- If you know a veteran, be sure to thank them on Veterans Day, but we should be thankful all year long.
- My town puts up American flags every Veterans Day along the Veterans Memorial Parkway.
The Last Word
Veterans Day can have significant importance to anyone who appreciates the dedication and sacrifice our service members willingly give for our protection. Plus, it can have a very personal meaning to their families.
Whether you are personally impacted by a veteran’s service, it’s important that you know the meaning of Veterans Day. It’s not just another day off work!