As you make plans for your Wednesday off, it is important to take a moment and observe why this day is recognized as a holiday.

Veterans Day is held on the anniversary of World War I, November 11. The holiday is used to honor United States veterans, as well as all victims of wars. Originally, Veterans Day was known as Armistice Day, but was replaced in 1954.

Most students know Veterans Day as just another school holiday. However, the holiday is important to families who have had loved ones serve in the military, as well as Americans who use the day to reflect and honor those for their service to our country.

It is easy to forget the concept of war, as it is something that most of my generation has grown up watching on the evening news. But, many of us may be surrounded by veterans and not even know it. According to the Department of Veteran Affairs, there are about 17 million veterans living in the United States.

These Veterans have fought in many wars, some distant like World War II or Vietnam to more recents wars like Iraq and Afghanistan.

Thankfully, in the Trump administration, we have not had a single war, so the thought of war might not be fresh in people’s minds. However, this does not mean that just because there has been no recent war, or that people are still not dying from war. The war in Afghanistan is still killing U.S. soldiers to this day. War lingers, war is always there, even when it is over, which is why there should be a day set aside for those who have served.

When men and women return from battle, it is estimated that 30 percent will end up having life long injuries or disabilities as a result of their service, according to the Wounded Veteran Challenge. Many of these disabilities have life-long effects and many of these disabilities are not physically present.

One of the greatest injuries to face veterans is post traumatic stress disorder, or PTSD. This disorder has contributed to the high rate of suicides that is found among veterans. According to a report from the VA, around 20 veterans commit suicide each day, ammounting to a staggering 7,300 suicides a year just from veterans.

There are numerous disadvantages facing our veterans and now, with a world that is more distant than ever, it is important to recognize those who have served our country.

War, unfortunate as it is, has been an important part of American history, and has shaped our country to where it is today.

Although Veterans Day was created on the anniversary of World War I, there were many important wars that happened before then, such as: The Civil War, The War of 1812 and of course the Revolutionary War. All of these wars have had societal and cultural impacts on America, and it is important to remember and reflect on the brave men and women who have served our country, as there is nothing more patriotic than doing just that.

The last paragraph on va.gov explains the holiday perfectly. “The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

 

Connor Crawford can be contacted at:
ccrawford@kcsequinox.com

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