Over the past few days, I have heard many students wondering aloud, “Why can’t we just get Friday off instead of Thursday so we can have a long weekend?” There are several holidays that have been amended to do just that – the observation of Labor Day was moved to a Monday, and Presidents Washington and Lincoln at one time had individual birthday celebrations, now consolidated as ‘Presidents Day’ and also moved to a Monday.
But perhaps some observances should not be altered to give us a mini-vacation or long weekend. Maybe some holidays hold a deeper meaning than that and should be observed with more respect.
Thursday, November 11 is Armistice Day, or as we know it, Veterans Day. Seven months prior to the official end of World War I, an armistice went into effect between the Allied Nations and Germany. This time of peace was celebrated across the world.
Armistice Day was celebrated every November 11 by remembering and honoring WWI veterans until the end of World War II, at which point Americans felt it was only fair to include all veterans in this national celebration. The title was officially changed to “Veterans Day” and declared a federal holiday by President Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Veterans Day should represent more than just a one-day weekend extension and special eight hour sales at local malls. It is a day during which we honor and remember the veterans who laid down their lives fighting for our country and thank those who are still alive today.
So this Thursday, while you are busy catching up on sleep and schoolwork, hanging out with friends or watching TV, make sure you take a moment to thank a veteran for their service and their sacrifices.
While everyone loves a three day weekend, perhaps there are some days of remembering that should be considered as more than a mini-vacation. Take this Thursday to thank your neighbors and grandparents who are veterans for serving America.
Virginia Reed is a superb writer and an even better friend. She enjoys unhealthy foods and writing sarcastic articles. Virginia is the Online Editor for the 2011-12 school year and was a Managing Editor for the 2010-11 year but has not forgotten her humble beginnings as a staff writer when she was a wee sophomore. Her goals for the future are to get an A in newspaper and to apply to college in a timely fashion.