I got confused the other day. I was chatting with someone about November 11th. I had to go through Veterans Day and Armistice Day before finally settling on Remembrance Day. I really must remember where I live.
France and Belgium observe Armistice Day on November 11th. The reasons are obvious, primary amongst them being the ending of hostilities in Europe as World War I came to a close.
The nations of the Commonwealth observe Remembrance Day. For Canada, this is particularly important. While Canada entered World War I as part of the British Empire, Canada signed the Treaty of Versailles as a separate nation.
In the United States, today is Veterans Day. The United States did not sign the Treaty of Versailles. As such, to call the day Armistice Day would have been most disingenuous. Memorial Day was first observed in 1868. As such, that option was not available.
Memorial Day and Remembrance Day tend to focus on the deceased. I like that Veterans Day focuses on the living. We should take a moment to remember those who went, who did their duty, and came home.
Moreover, as we learn more about the long-term effects of combat, it becomes vital for us to remember those who did come home. After the parades and celebrations cease, those who were there must cope with the aftermath. The aftermath might be readjustment issues. It might be employment issues. It might be post-traumatic stress. It is only appropriate to have a day to remember them, so that we remember that they are people with real personal concerns, and whose real personal concerns came into being due to the nation's call.
Good night all.