Veterans Day: Honoring All Who Served

November 11th is a very important day in our nation’s history. This official holiday is when we honor the men and women who have served our beautiful country. That day is Veteran’s Day which was established in 1954 after Congress passed a bill signed by President Eisenhower. This year’s Veterans Day motto is “Honoring All Who Served” which perfectly represents this day for our brave veterans.

The “Honoring All Who Served” poster displays a Tomb Guard carrying out his responsibilities with dedication. The artist Matt Tavares wanted to keep his identity ambiguous to represent our veterans who are from all genders, races, religions, and backgrounds. The artist also wanted to make the tomb an emphasis to represent all the fallen unknown soldiers that got lost in combat. This Veterans Day poster comes from the book Twenty-One Steps and is a great representation of the holiday we celebrate every year.

The design idea for this year is an illustration for a book called Twenty-One Steps. (Artist Matt Tavares)

Veterans Day is every year to honor the Veterans that put on a military uniform to protect the freedom, values, and liberties that our country was born on. Veterans Day evolved from Armistice Day which now shares the same day. Armistice Day was created by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919. This holiday was established to remember the end of World War I when hostilities were ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November. Now they are merged together because they both honor the men and women who have served our country.

Now it is said that Veterans Day was established in 1954, but some people disagree. The great people of Emporia, Kansas proclaim they first celebrated Veterans Day in 1953.  Some say Kansas was the first place to have a city-wide celebration of Veterans Day before the first National celebration in 1954. Regardless of when the celebration started, it is now a huge part of our nation’s history. Emporia is still a notable place of celebration on November 11th every year for parades and ceremonies.

When talking about the history of this special military holiday it is important to note Raymond Weeks. Raymond Weeks was a World War II Veteran who is proclaimed having a Veterans Day parade in 1947. This “Nationals Veterans Day” parade was held in Birmingham, Alabama. This was known as one of the first unofficial celebrations before the military holiday became official in 1954 by Congress.

A very special moment that is shared with the entire nation on November 11th is the Veterans Day Moment of Silence. This Veterans Day tradition is a 2 minute moment of silence that starts at 3:11 pm Atlantic standard time. The times for other time zones are; Eastern 2:11, Central 1:11, Mountain 12:11, Pacific 11:11, Alaska 10:11, and Hawaii-Aleutian 9:11. This moment of silence is meant to take some time out of your day to think about the sacrifice and all the things the brave protectors of our country have done. This is also a special moment for many people to reflect on friends and loved ones who we have lost who served for our troops.

A pair of boots at a memorial in a base in Hawaii (Photo Credit: USMC)

Veterans Day is a day to celebrate the past service members you have around you on a daily basis. This is also a day where you honor and remember the veterans who are no longer with us. So many men and women have lost their lives while serving our country and this day is a way to give them thanks. They may not be with us anymore, but they will always be represented as an honorable person and a United States Military veteran.

This year we lost some veterans that have done so much in the military and for our nation in many ways. This year on October 18th we lost former Secretary of Defense Colin Powell who passed away due to Covid-19. Powell not only served as the 65th Secretary of Defense but also as general in the United States Army. Powell was the first African American Secretary of Defense and help shape Foreign Policy during the end of the 20th Century. Colin Powell served 35 years in the Army and sadly passed away at the age of 84.

There are many national ceremonies and celebrations on this day to honor our vets. The National Veterans Day ceremony is held in Arlington, Texas that displays a wreath-laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Like mentioned earlier the Emporia, Kansas National Veterans Day parade has been put on every year since 1953. Some other ways to celebrate is to visit the National Cemetery Administration so you can give thanks to fallen vets. Also admiring Veteran statues in Washington DC or in your local area.

Veterans Day T-shirt presented by Medals of America.

Another way to show your respect and honor to veterans on this special day is by wearing veteran apparel and displaying insignia. Presenting your own shadow box to display the badges and ranks you have earned from your service is a great way to start conversation and share stories on this day. Medals of America have a lot of great new additions for this Veterans Day.  Check out the new coin and t-shirt to represent and be proud of your service.

November 11th will always be a special day not just in the military, but in our nation. It is a special part of our history in appreciating the men and women who sacrificed so much. To the service members who put on a military uniform and served for our country, we thank you for all you have done. Without you, we would be without the freedom, values, and liberties that our great nation was built on.