Veterans Day or Armistice Day?

November 11 marks Veterans Day and Remembrance Day. If you are in the United States, you are commemorating Veterans Day. If you are from Canada, you are observing Remembrance Day. However, there is also Armistice Day.

Veterans Day

Veterans Day is a US federal holiday. Usually, it falls on November 11. If November 11 is on a weekend, the holiday will be designated as either the preceding Friday or the succeeding Monday. November 11 is significant because it marks the day when the armed forces ceased fighting in World War 1; At exactly 11 AM on 11 November 1918, ”the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month”, the armistice took effect.

Veterans Day recognizes all veterans who served the nation of all wars – living or dead.

Remembrance Day

Field of red poppy flowers. Photo Elina Sazonova

Remembrance Day is also a memorial day that marks the end of hostilities during World War 1. It is generally observed in Commonwealth member states to honor the members of their armed forces who died during military service. In Canada, Remembrance Day is federal statutory holiday.

This day is also informally known as Poppy Day. Red poppies have long been used to symbolize those who have lost their lives in wars and conflicts. This is because poppies are the flowers which grew on the battlefields after World War 1. This was also immortalized in the famous poem “In Flanders Fields”.

Armistice Day

Armistice Day is simply another name for Remembrance Day. At some point, Veterans Day was also called Armistice Day. During World War 2, many countries changed the name of this memorial. Commonwealth countries adopted Remembrance Day while the USA used Veterans Day. In 1954, the 83rd US Congress amended the Act of 1938 to change the name of the celebration to Veterans Day.

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