Both Remembrance Day and Veterans Day are celebrated on November 11, but they mark very different occasions and have very different tones to them.
Remembrance Day (also known as Armistice Day) marks the “11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month” of 1918 that World War I officially ended and is observed by most countries who fought in the war, including the Commonwealth nations. I know in the U.K., the main commemoration involving the Royal Family and other dignitaries includes two minutes of silence at 11:00 at the Cenotaph at Whitehall, and the other ceremonies throughout the nation happen on Remembrance Sunday, the Sunday closest to the 11th.
Over here, Veterans Day is a different thing entirely. It is a day that honors those who have served in the armed forces, living or dead. Wartime, peacetime…it doesn’t matter. So, if you signed on the dotted line, it’s your day. That is why you will see lots of memes on Facebook thanking veterans today from the Americans. Because we have Memorial Day on Bank Holiday weekend in May to honor those we lost, it’s a lot less somber than Remembrance Day.
Case in point, this is what The Boffin told me this morning.
“Happy Veterans Day! Go find some free shit.”
I also found out I can get a free tall cup of coffee from Starbucks. Like the vast majority of Americans, I don’t care what color the cup is. I’ll just take a Sharpie and draw Stars of David on it. Or not, because the coffee tastes like water brewed through compost.
So it’s the same date, but different days. However, it is all down to honoring our troops, and I appreciate them in whatever way they served and are still serving. Thank you, all of you.