Veteran’s Day – Honoring those who have served

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Veteran’s Day – Honoring those who have served

Cortnie Cottrell, News Writer

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Veteran’s Day, for some, is a national holiday that merely means a day off from school or work, but for many, it holds a much deeper meaning than a day off. Veteran’s Day is a time for us all to pay our respects to those who are serving and who have previously served. For one day, we stand united as a country in respect for our veterans.

Veterans Day was originally known as Armistice Day, a holiday that started as a day to reflect upon the heroism of those who died in our country’s service. It fell on November 11 because that is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. For that reason, November 11, 1918, was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and nicknamed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as the end of the war, and in 1938, it became an official holiday, a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I. However, later in 1954, the holiday changed to “Veteran’s Day” in order to recognize all veterans that had served in all wars.

We recognize, honor and celebrate America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of our country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. Because United States veterans make up approximately seven percent of the nation’s population with 18 million veterans living in the United States in 2018, we truly cannot salute them enough. 

“When I think of all my brothers and sisters who have served, all I can be is grateful for their sacrifice,” Kyle Kampsen, senior UND student said. “Going out of my way to recognize and give appreciation to the veterans is a huge priority to me, their service means so much to me.”

Kampsen is a senior at the University of North Dakota who has many family members who have previously served and are currently serving, one being his dad who served for 26 years in the U.S. Air Force. Kampsen has great connection when it comes to understanding the roles and the importance that veterans carry with them. 

A few ways that Americans can celebrate veterans and humbly honor them for their sacrifice could be by simply thanking them in public, paying for their meal, visiting a memorial cemetery or by donation to a charity. Any act of thankfulness towards veterans is the least that Americans can do to give back. 

“Being the daughter of a veteran is and was challenging and down right hard at some points throughout the years,” Abbi Smith, a UND junior said. “I could never know for certain that my dad would come home or when the last time I would see him, it was a constant state of tension that never left my body until he walked through the door again.”

Smith’s father has served in the Army for 23 years as a medical doctor. He is a UND alumni himself. 

“I am so proud to say that my dad has served our country humbly for so many years and I can never thank him enough for sacrificing his life for mine and everyone else’s.” Smith’s father said.

Taking Veteran’s Day more seriously and really understanding that it is much more than merely just a day off, but instead a day for celebration and recognition, will hopefully give more meaning to this holiday for you.

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