WORLDWIDE — With Veterans Day ceremonies occurring all over the nation, it may surprise you to know that Veterans Day is not an American holiday, but an international one.
Originally called Armistice Day, November 11th commemorates the end of World War I. In the U.S. the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day after the close of World War II, expanding the day to honor all American veterans.
Across the globe, the day goes by different names now, such as Remembrance Day in the UK, France, Belgium, and Canada.
In Poland, November 11th is actually their Independence Day, since the end of World War I led to the restoration of Poland’s sovereignty.
Nearby in Latvia, is it known as “Lāčplēša Day”. The day actually commemorates a battle that occurred a year after the close of World War 1, in 1919, as a part of their War of Independence which incidentally was fought on November 11th as well.
Lastly, in Germany, the holiday takes a different tone since, of course, the Germans were on the losing end of World Wars I and II. Their day of honoring fallen soldiers and civilians falls between November 13th and 19th and is called ‘Volkstrauertag’.
So as we honor our heroes here, it’s good to remember that the world is united in remembrance today, as we all strive to prevent the wars that have led to these days of memoriam.