Today, Nov. 11 is Veterans Day. In a normal years — although not much has been normal in 2020 — Husband Joe and I would be attending a program at Riverside-Brookfield High School observing the day and recognizing the veterans in attendance at the school’s annual Veterans Day ceremony.

The morning typically began with breakfast followed by an assembly and a short program in the gym. Veterans who wished to talk directly to students visited classrooms and shared their service experiences. 

Husband Joe, an Air Force veteran, enjoyed relating his experiences as a Russian linguist in Japan stationed at Hokkaido on the northern tip of Japan and tracking the Russian cosmonauts, which included the first woman cosmonaut, Valentina Tereshkova.  Not this year students.

Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday was first observed in 1919, marking the one-year anniversary of the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918. 

In 1945 following the end of World War II the observance was expanded to honor all veterans. Congress later would formally amend the law that created Armistice Day and President Eisenhower signed that bill in 1954, officially changing the name the Veterans Day.

As so often happens, observances often take on a commercial flair and Veterans Day became one of those, with businesses announcing Veterans Day sales and businesses announcing special offers to entice present and former members of the military.

How can we show our appreciation? Support those organizations which help veterans whether it be monetary or even something symbolic. How about a “thank you for your service” when you see a service person? Flying the American flag is another way to signify your support of our military. 

Obviously we don’t need a planned program to observe Veterans Day nor do we need a day designated to veterans. I guess we need a reminder. Every day we should be able to recognize the efforts of those who chose or were chosen to serve.