Yet ANOTHER Veteran's Day

Veteran’s day is another poor excuse for some companies and most schools to take the day off. And for what? Do children and adults even acknowledge this day? When people enjoying their days off do you really think that the heroic acts of the Veterans who have served the United States really come to their minds?

            The answer should be no because not many people even know what Veteran’s Day is. In a recent survey by military, only about 55% of Americans know what Memorial Day is supposed to represent (May 21, 2019). From this sample alone, it can be generalized that only half of the American population understands what Memorial Day is. Now, I’m here talking about Veterans Day, so what does this have to do with Memorial Day? Well, if Americans are confused about Memorial Day, there is a very strong likelihood they may confuse Memorial Day with Veterans Day as those two government recognized holidays are very similar. Just to give a brief difference between the two days, Memorial Day is a day when you should honor the fallen by attending memorial services and laying flowers and showing respect to the graves of the fallen soldiers. Veteran’s Day on the other hand, is a day when a household should fly the American Flag and go to local events and facilities to volunteer or thank the veterans for service.

            However, recent reports have shown that just thanking veterans are not enough. What does it actually mean to thank veterans? Does it mean physically going up to them and saying “thank you for your service?” Or does it mean silently showing your respect and nod and acknowledge any veterans that pass by? According to an article by Tareq Haddad, he wrote that, “49% of active and former members of the armed services feel uneasy with the expression ‘Thank you for your service’” (Newsweek, 2019). Well, what does that exactly mean? Shouldn’t veterans feel appreciated when you hear the words “thank you?” Shouldn’t anybody feel appreciated when those words are uttered. From the same article, it was discussed that veterans want to feel more of that appreciation. Instead of saying “thank you,” veterans want to feel connected at a more personal level. Each veteran is different such as you and I are different. Thus, every different veteran has different approaches and views on their service. Therefore, instead of just saying the two-word phrase, ask about their service. Ask them about what the government should do to improve their lives. Just show a little more respect and care for people who have fought for the United States.

            Having said that, it may also not be too wise to ask veterans anything. Some veterans may be diagnosed with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder or PTSD. It was researched that, “As many as 500,000 U.S. troops who served in these wars over the past 13 years have been diagnosed with PTSD” (NCBI, 2016). PTSD is a very real and crippling disease which affects the cognition of the veterans. Therefore, by asking about the war and their past service, might stir up some unwanted memories and cause the veterans to feel uncomfortable or uneasy. To remedy this, instead of just asking about the war, ask first if they are willing to talk about the war.

            All these steps and ways of thanking and recognizing our veterans is probably going to be lost and/or ignored in the lists and columns of articles about Veteran’s Day. However, if this does happen to get read and you, the reader, learn nothing from this, take away the fact that Veteran’s Day and any other patriotic holiday should be something recognized throughout the year. People don’t just transform into veterans on Veteran’s Day. Those who have served will always be veterans no matter what day it is. So, if you have friends or family members who are veterans, make sure to let them know everyday how much they mean to you. These Veterans didn’t ask for a holiday to be made for them. All they asked for was the war to be over and to get back to their family and loved ones. For the ones who did realize this wish and are still with us today, always remember the ones who fell on the battlefield with that wish. Happy Veteran’s Day.  








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