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What does Veterans Day mean to you?

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What does Veterans Day mean to you?

Lin Miyamoto

Lin Miyamoto

Lin Miyamoto

By Emily Sallee, Hawkeye staff

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Veterans Day is an American national holiday celebrated on Nov. 11 that honors those who have served in the U.S. military. Wouldn’t one think that the history of this day should be common knowledge?

“No, I do not know the history of Veterans Day,”  sophomore Natalie Song said.

Originally, the holiday was known as Armistice Day, as it originated in 1919 on the first anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. The day became an official national holiday in the United States in 1938. Congress amended the act that had made Armistice Day a holiday in 1954, striking the word “Armistice” in favor of “Veterans” to honor those who served in all U.S. wars.

From 1971 to 1975, Veterans Day was celebrated on the fourth Monday in October after the 1968 passage of the Uniform Holidays Bill. The date changed back to Nov. 11 in 1975 under president Gerald Ford due to the date’s historical significance.

The U.S. is not the only country that commemorates its veterans. In the United Kingdom, Remembrance Sunday is celebrated on the second Sunday of November. The United Kingdom and other Commonwealth countries such as Australia and New Zealand also observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, in recognition of the time and date of the 1918 armistice. Not only is it a day of recognition for the services veterans have done for their country, it is also  a day of remembrance for all of the members of the armed forces who died for their country and did not come home.

The meaning of Veterans Day varies from person to person. Some see it as a day of remembering loved ones lost in military service. Some see it as a day to remember those who have and are currently fighting for them and America, or as a day to spend with the veterans in their family. Others see it as a time to celebrate in some other way, such as taking advantage of Veterans Day sales.

“Veterans Day is a day we honor those future veterans and past ones who have sacrificed their lives for our country in times of war or any service they have done for our country,” senior Glaxton Joseph said.

Even though Joseph does not celebrate Veterans Day, as he does not have any family members that have served in the military, he still believes in the holiday’s importance.

“They help protect us as a nation,” Joseph said.

“Veterans Day, to me, is a day to celebrate our military, who helped us get to where we are now,” sophomore Sienna McLaren said.

On Veterans Day, McLaren spends time with her grandparents. Her grandfather is a veteran of the Vietnam War.

“We usually don’t do anything specific regarding about him being in the war because he doesn’t like talking about it very much, but on Veterans Day we just play some games in the backyard,” McLaren said.

Some schools close on Veterans Day, but others do not. MTHS is one of those schools that gives students a day off. MTHS also recognizes this national holiday with an assembly, often with veterans present. The assembly serves as a way to help remind students of the significance of veterans and the armed forces, and is thus not just a day to give students a break from their schoolwork.

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The student news site of Mountlake Terrace High School in Mountlake Terrace, Washington.
What does Veterans Day mean to you?