What Is Veterans Day?

In the US, Veterans Day celebrates the service of all US military service personnel.
In the US, Veterans Day celebrates the service of all US military service personnel.

Veterans Day is a national holiday in the US that is celebrated annually on November 11. It is observed together with Remembrance Day (initiated as a mark of ending of World War I). It was previously known as Armistice Day until 1954 when it was named Veterans Day. It was after the US Congress passed a bill to change it in June 1954. The difference between Veterans and Armistice Day is that the latter is celebrated in memory of fallen military people who died in service. Veterans, on the other hand, celebrates the service of all US military service persons. There is also Armed Forces Day that honors those currently serving in the military. Moreover, Veterans Day national awards were officially created in 1954.

Veterans Day around the World

In Finland, Veterans Day is an annual official holiday celebrated on April 27 in remembrance of the end of World War 2 in the country and to honor all war veterans. On this day, the Finnish flag is flown high. The first-ever National Veterans Day was celebrated in 1987. The day is accompanied by wreath laying, honorary guards to the graveyards of fallen war heroes and church services.

In the Netherlands, the day is on June 29 every year. This date was selected explicitly as a way of showing respect to the late Prince Bernhard (a veteran). Moreover, the day honors all Dutch veterans of wars and peacekeeping missions. The essential Veterans Day celebrations usually take place at The Hague. In Norway, it is held on May 8. It was first marked in 2011 but was initiated in 2010 by the Norway cabinet. It honors the efforts of World War 2 Veterans, United Nations peacekeeping missions and other internationally recognized services.

South Koreans, on the other hand, celebrate this day on October 8 yearly. In Sweden, Veterans Day is marked on May 29 every year at the Maritime Museum in Stockholm. It commemorates the servicemen of the Swedish Armed Forces and those who died while in service. Lastly, Veterans Day is celebrated on June 30 in the United Kingdom.

Remembrance Day in the Commonwealth

Remembrance Day (or the Poppy Day) is marked on November 11 annually in most countries. Commonwealth nations have always honored this day since the end of World War 1 in memory of fallen people of the military who died while serving the state. It is celebrated internationally, together with non-commonwealth countries. A one-minute silence is made at the eleventh hour of November 11 in Britain, South Africa, and Canada. On the other hand, Australia, Barbados, Belize, Saint Lucia and South Africa mark Remembrance Day on November 11, and it is not necessarily a public holiday. Canadians mark this day within all its three territories and usually as a statutory requirement. The Kenyan government has also commemorated Remembrance Day yearly. An association was established in 1945 to serve the welfare of ex-military men of World War 1 and 2, by the Kenya Armed Forces.

Outside the Commonwealth, Remembrance Day is marked in France and Belgium (recognized as a national holiday). Other countries that commemorate this day include Denmark, Italy, Germany, Norway, Poland, Israel, Hong Kong, Ireland, Netherlands, and the United States.


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