Veterans Day – 2021

Mary Madison, RN, RAC-CT, CDP 
Clinical Consultant – Briggs Healthcare

The observance of Veterans Day is more than free food, a paid holiday for some, sales in stores (and an infamous blizzard if you’re old enough to remember or have heard about it through family).

Here’s a bit of history about this special day:

“Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In 1938, through an act of Congress, November 11th was made a legal holiday.

In 1954, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” On June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill, Public Law 90-363 (82 Stat. 250) was signed, ensuring three-day weekends for federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on their original dates. With much confusion, the first Veterans Day under the new law was observed on October 25, 1971.

On September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed Public Law 94-79 (89 Stat. 479), a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11th, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on November 11th.”[1]

Veterans Day has always been a special day for me as my son, husband, stepson (Air Force), father, grandfather, cousin, uncles and friends served in the Army, daughter-in-law in the Marines and friends in the National Guard. One of my uncles was killed in action on Christmas Day during WWII. I am immensely proud of their service and of them. I have a special place in my heart for the men and women that serve our country through their military service and for the families that support those service members.

You may be a veteran as well – thank you so very much for your service. Don’t forget the people that you care for every day in your facilities and communities. Be sure to acknowledge their service.

I encourage you to take time today to participate either in events in your community honoring our veterans or privately to think about the service of our veterans and your family members and friends that served as well. We owe each one of them so much.

On October 29, 2021, President Biden proclaimed November 2021 as National Veterans and Military Families Month, saying “Throughout November, we show our appreciation to the spouses, partners, children, caregivers, and survivors of our service members and veterans for their selfless sacrifice on behalf of the Nation.  We honor them and their invaluable contributions; we share their pride in our Armed Forces; and we will never forget what they and their loved ones do for us.”  (I encourage you to read the entire proclamation.) The President also issued a proclamation on November 9th that in part reads “encourage all Americans to recognize the valor, courage, and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate ceremonies and private prayers.  I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States of America and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. And I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities, to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.”


[1] https://www.govinfo.gov/features/veterans-day-2021