This Veterans Day, I saw more pride and a positive feeling put into the many memorial services in person and on television. This was a first in my lifetime and especially as a veteran myself. (Vietnam and 1st Gulf War).
I also learned a few things this year – and I love learning.
One thing I learned (being a writer) is about the use of an apostrophe in Veterans’ Day or Veteran’s Day. Does it go before or after the “s”? It doesn’t really matter according to Wikipedia:
“The holiday is commonly printed as Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day in calendars and advertisements. While these spellings are grammatically acceptable, the United States government has declared that the attributive (no apostrophe) rather than the possessive case is the official spelling.”
At age 65, I did not know that! I’ve battled with that since high school journalism and English classes.
OFFICIAL MEAL FOR VETS
I certainly did not know there was an “unofficial” or “official” meal for Veterans Day. New Years Day has several traditional meals. My mother served “Hop & John” (Blackeyed Peas and Rice). I’ve known friends that had to have their sauerkraut.
So what became the meal for Veterans Day? Here is the story:
“The holiday is often celebrated by having a ravioli meal. This tradition dates back to the ending days of World War I when President Woodrow Wilson, aware that the returning soldiers would be longing for home cooked meals, invited 2,000 soldiers to the White House and helped his staff chefs cook them ravioli, which had just become a mainstay in mainstream American kitchens due to commercial canning.”
Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the Germans signing the Armistice.
The following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919. President Wilson said: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
Adding veterans of WWII and the Korean Conflict to those being honored, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill in 1954 changing the holiday’s name from Armistice to Veterans Day so that all veterans would be honored.