To those who have served, and those are are still serving, a heartfelt thank you. Memorial Day honors the fallen, this day is to honor those who survive, for that can sometimes be harder. I thank my father for his three tours in Viet Nam, and I thank my nephew who still serves.
On November 11, 1953, the citizens of Emporia, Kansas staged a Veterans Day observance in lieu of an Armistice Day remembrance. Congressman Ed Rees of Emporia, Kansas subsequently introduced legislation in the United States House of Representatives to officially change the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Following a letter-writing campaign to secure the support of all state governors in the observance of this new holiday, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day (enacted June 1, 1954), to honor those who served.
The day has since evolved as a time for honoring living veterans who have served in the military during wartime or peacetime, partially to complement Memorial Day, which primarily honors the dead. There has been some discussion of whether a person’s veteran status depends upon his/her retirement or discharge from any of the armed forces. However, the term applies to any that have honorably served their country or that have served in a war zone as directed by their superior officers or as directed by lawful orders given by their country.
I take the looser definition because all who serve may at any moment be called to lay down their life in aid of their country. It’s not a concious choice many take, so thank you to all who have, and to all who will.