As a proud veteran of the US Coast Guard, please take a moment in time to thank the men and women who serve this country – in the past, present and even in the future.
Often confused with Memorial Day, a much more somber observance of those who died while in military service, Veterans Day started out as “Armistice Day” to honor military veterans. Unlike Memorial Day, which lands on the last Monday in May, Veterans Day is always celebrated on November 11th to mark the anniversary of the end of World War I (Other countries call this Armistice Day or Remembrance Day).
It’s a minor holiday, often falling on a workday (like this year) and many opt to “trade” it for the day after Thanksgiving to make that holiday a long weekend. Sometimes, it just feels like an excuse to have paid time off.
So this year, and hopefully in the years going forward, take a moment to recognize those who have served, thank those who currently protect our country, and encourage our young people to consider serving their country.
Perhaps you can start your panel today with a quick thank you to the veterans on the panel and in the audience. A little thank you goes a long way!
There is a lovely custom in Canada (and some observe it in the US, but not many) where EVERYONE observes two minutes of silence to remember our veterans. At precisely 11am (the same exact day and time when the Armistice with Germany went into effect in 1918), everyone goes silent and bows their head to remember those who have served our country bravely. You may not have two whole minutes to spare during your panel discussion, but even 30 seconds of silence could be a powerful commemoration.
On this day, at 11am, my husband Joe and I listen to this song by Canadian Terry Kelly. We have been known to kick off a panel or workshop with this video. I share it with you to encourage you to take a pittance of time to remember our veterans and share it during your next meeting: