Veterans Day began as Armistice Day, which was initially a date to celebrate the end of World War I.
The armistice, or resolution, ending the armed conflict of the Great War took place on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. And so, each Veterans Day is held on Nov. 11, the date marking the end of “the war to end all wars.”
But after World War II and the Korean War, Congress chose to — under the guidance of crucial veterans service organizations — ditch the word “Armistice” and switched it out with “veterans.”
President Dwight D. Eisenhower made it official by signing a law reflecting the change on June 1, 1954, and it’s been Veterans Day ever since.
What’s the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?
This is a big deal. Civilians who mean well legitimately confuse the two, but the different holidays should not be conflated.
Memorial Day, which is reserved for the last Monday in May, is a date set aside to honor and remember those who have died in service to their nation. That’s why it’s common to see American flags planted on the graves of fallen service members, and also why the phrase “Happy Memorial Day ” should never be uttered. It’s a day of somber reflection.
Veterans Day, on the other hand, is reserved for thanking and celebrating living vets who served in the military, either in time of war or peace. — Radio.com
Some valley events include:
- The West Richland Veterans Day parade was moved online this year on Nov. 7th because of COVID-19 restrictions. The West Richland Chamber of Commerce shared a video of the parade on its website and you can watch it there.
- Prosser Memorial Hospital is serving to-go breakfast to veterans and their families on Wednesday from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. at their hospital campus, 723 Memorial St. The annual tradition is followed by a procession starting at 11 a.m. in downtown Prosser. This will be followed by a short ceremony at Sylvan Stage in City Park.
- The Glenn M. Sickels Post 34 of Kennewick-Pasco American Legion at 1029 W. Sylvester St. is holding a Veterans Day Spaghetti Night for $10.
- Doggie Style Gourmet is raising money for the WSU Tri-Cities Veterans Center. The hot dog cart will be set up at its normal spot at 1415 George Washington Way in Richland.
- The Yakama Warriors Association plans a flag-raising at 9 a.m. Wednesday at its headquarters, 480 Buster Road, near the intersection with Fort Road.
- Cabela’s in Union Gap will be hosting the Marine Honor Guard and Remembrance Ceremony at 10 a.m. Wednesday. The store is at 1400 E. Washington Ave. It will be an outdoor event and those attending are asked to follow all local ordinances for face coverings and stand at least 6 feet apart.
- Veterans groups and local garden clubs will dedicate a Blue Star monument at Tahoma Cemetery honoring those currently serving in the military as well as veterans on Veterans Day. The ceremony begins at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 at the cemetery, and guests are asked to come to the South 24th Avenue entrance, the release said. Social distancing is required.
- The annual Veterans Day ceremony sponsored by the Marine Corps League is planned at 1 p.m. at the Veterans Memorial wall at Sarg Hubbard Park under the flagpole. The public is invited to attend and should wear the appropriate protective gear.
- Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 379 will host a spaghetti feed for veterans at 1 p.m. Wednesday at the VFW hall at 118 S. Fifth Ave. Masks are required when people are away from their table, no more than five people are allowed at each table and 50% capacity is allowed, which is about 175 people. It’s open to the public and veterans and others are welcome as long as capacity allows.