Today is Veterans Day. Unfortunately, this holiday is often confused with Labor Day and/or Memorial Day — both of which fall at different times of the year. Help your kids learn the difference between these three federal holidays with this quick primer.
Veterans Day falls on November 11 each year. It honors all war veterans, and it falls on the day when World War I fighting ceased the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. In fact, according to the original decree, Veterans Day was supposed to start at 11 a.m. each year.
Here’s a famous Veterans Day quote from President Wilson upon signing the day into law: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
Labor Day falls on the first Monday of September each year. The holiday is more than 100 years old and was created after calls from the labor movement to recognize the social and economic achievements of American workers.
The first Labor Day was Sept. 5, 1882, but there’s disagreement on who pushed for its creation. Some credit Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners general secretary Peter J. McGuire, while others say it was Matthew Maguire who proposed it.
Memorial Day is the final Monday of May each year. It recognizes those who lost their lives in service to our nation. Like Labor Day, it’s unclear who exactly came up with the idea more than two dozen groups or people have claimed to have created it.
President Lyndon B. Johnson said the official birthplace was Waterloo, N.Y. But way back in 1868, General John Logan, national commander of the Grand Army of the Republic made a Memorial Day proclamation and flowers were placed on the graves of soldiers at Arlington National Cemetary.
Enjoy today and remember to thank a Veteran!