Fred Price Jr., who served in the Marines, bows his head in prayer at a Veterans Day program at Legion Park in Cheverly, Md., on Nov. 11. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)
Fred Price Jr., who served in the Marines, bows his head in prayer at a Veterans Day program at Legion Park in Cheverly, Md., on Nov. 11. (Anthony Tilghman/The Washington Informer)

Veterans Day gives Americans the opportunity to celebrate the bravery and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. However, most Americans confuse this holiday with Memorial Day, which specifically commemorates those who died while in service of their country and made the ultimate sacrifice.

What’s more, some Americans don’t know why we commemorate our Veterans on Nov. 11, although in recent years it has become “politically correct” to say to veterans, as well as to frontline workers, “thank you for your service.’

But what do we mean we thank veterans for their service? Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day, which became a national holiday beginning in 1938, pays tribute to all American veterans — living or dead — but especially gives thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

As for the date the holiday is observed, we celebrate veterans on Nov. 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.

Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day, which was proclaimed in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson. An armistice is when warring parties agree to stop fighting. Armistice Day recognizes the end of World War I when hostilities ceased on Nov. 11 at 11 a.m., 1918 (11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month).

So, now that you know what Veterans Day is all about, how about showing some love to a veteran here in the DMV? Many of them have not fared well since leaving active duty. Many suffer from PTSD, some are homeless, some face financial hardship while others feel all alone.

Where would we be without the sacrifices and service of our veterans? Let’s show them that we care.

WI Guest Author

This correspondent is a guest contributor to The Washington Informer.

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