Happy Veterans Day!! To all those individuals who serve or have served our country proudly as members of the U.S. armed forces, and the families who sacrifice a lot to support their service, we thank you!
Did you know that Veterans Day was created to celebrate the end of World War I?
While WWI wasn’t officially over until the Peace Treaty was signed in Versailles on June 28, 1919, fighting ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, or November 11, 1918. In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11th to be Armistice Day. In 1936 Congress declared November 11th an official national holiday. At the time it was meant to honor the veterans of WWI.
Unfortunately, as we all know, another world war was yet to come. But thankfully, WWII ended on VJ day, August 14, 1945. People across the United States celebrated the newfound peace.
And in 1954, President Eisenhower officially declared November 11th to be a national holiday recognizing the veterans of all wars, as well as those currently serving in the U. S. Armed forces. Being a veteran, I find this day special and am proud to have served as an officer in the U.S. Navy.
So why the history lesson? I think it’s important to remember the significance of this day and it’s not just because everyone gets time off work or school. As a way to celebrate a veteran, why not check out some of these great books that celebrate those who serve our country faithfully:
Veterans Day by Elaine Landau
This nonfiction title explains why and how Americans celebrate Veterans Day. Part of the “Celebrating Holidays” series, the book traces the history of Veterans Day back to the conception of Armistice Day. It explains how and why the holiday expanded from a time to honor World War I vets to a day to honor all American veterans. The book includes information about the symbols associated with the holiday, including flags, poppies, and monuments. It shows how Americans celebrate the day on a national, local, and individual level. The book is divided into five short chapters, which can be read independently of each other. Sidebars, photographs, and captions provide additional information.
America’s White Table by Margot Theis Raven
The White Table is set in many mess halls as a symbol for and remembrance to service members fallen, missing, or held captive in the line of duty. Solitary and solemn, it is the table where no one will ever sit.
As a special gift to her Uncle John, Katie and her sisters are asked to help set the white table for dinner. As their mother explains the significance of each item placed on the table Katie comes to understand and appreciate the depth of sacrifice that her uncle, and each member of the Armed Forces and their families, may be called to give
Cherry Ames, Veteran Nurse by Helen Wells
With a heart of pure gold and a true yearning to make a difference in the world, eighteen-year-old Cherry Ames leaves her hometown and enters nursing school, embarking on a lifetime of adventures. Follow Cherry through the entire 20-volume series as she grows from a student nurse to a fully qualified RN, all the while making friends, pushing the limits of authority, leading her nursing colleagues, and sleuthing and solving mysteries. Smart, courageous, mischievous, quick-witted, and above all, devoted to nursing, Cherry Ames meets adventure head-on wherever she goes.
D-Day Day by Day by Anthony Hall
The hardcover reference titles in the Day by Day series examine the evolution of conflicts and wars in a chronological timeline, from the first skirmish to the last battle—and everything in between. These books are a historical companion to each major war in the nineteenth and twentieth century. The fate of soldiers, battalions, armies, can change in the blink of an eye—with this comprehensive book readers can follow the conflicting sides in their strategy, weaponry, and policies.
Don’t Know Much About American History by Kenneth C. Davis
As best-selling author Kenneth C. Davis knows, history can be fun, fascinating, and memorable. When his don’t know much about® history was published in 1990, it was a sensation. The book delivered a fresh take on history with its wit and unusual detail. Davis now does for young people what his earlier book did for adults. In his trademark question-and-answer style — peppered with surprising facts, historic reproductions, and Matt Faulkner’s lively illustrations — Davis introduces our ancestors who settled the East and expanded the West, as well as those who had been living here all along. His sure touch brings the drama and excitement of the American story vividly to life.
Arlington: The Story of Our Nation’s Cemetery by Chris Demarest
AMERICA’S RESTING PLACE. The story of the national cemetery–from the Revolutionary War to the present. Arlington recounts the complicated history of one of the nation’s most famous and most-visited national monuments and its fascinating daily life. Carefully researched and documented, Chris Demarest’s watercolor paintings capture the spirit and pathos of the last resting place of more than 300,000 Americans who have served their country.
Courage Has No Color by Tanya Lee Stone
World War II is raging, and thousands of American soldiers are fighting overseas against the injustices brought on by Hitler. Back on the home front, discrimination against African Americans plays out as much on Main Street as in the military. Tanya Lee Stone examines the little-known history of the Triple Nickles, America’s first black paratroopers, who fought in an attack on the American West by the Japanese. The 555th Parachute Infantry Battalion, in the words of First Sergeant Walter Morris, “proved that the color of a man had nothing to do with his ability.”
Enjoy your day off and if you happen to see a veteran, give them a handshake, a hearty “thank you” or even a hug for their service.
Jennifer Swanson is a middle school science instructor and an author of over 14 nonfiction books for kids. She is a graduate of the U.S. Naval Academy and is proud to have served her country for over nine years.