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Teach our next generation about Veterans Day

We in America know what Veterans Day is all about, but do our children? This Veterans Day, take time to teach them. Share this article with them or teach them about Veterans Day in your own words as you can explain it to your children better than I can.

Teach them that Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day. That armistice means that the countries that were fighting agreed to temporarily stop fighting. Germany was the only country left to sign an armistice with the Allied Forces, which were the United States, Great Britain, France, Italy, Japan, Romania, and Russia.

Germany signed the armistice at 5:00 on the morning of November 11, 1918. Explain to them that because the fighting stopped at 11:00 that morning, which is why Veterans Day is referred to as the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Be sure to explain that the war officially ended with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles at Versailles, France on June 28, 1919.

Our government made Armistice Day a legal holiday in 1938, dedicating the day to the cause for world peace and remembering and honoring our veterans who died during WWI. WWI is sometimes called the War to End All Wars because many people believed this war would stop the people and governments that caused war from starting anymore wars. It is also called The Great War because there were so many countries around the world fighting in this war.

Members of veterans’ organizations such as the VFW (Veterans of Foreign Wars) and the American Legion, worked with other people to change the name Armistice Day to Veterans Day. They also wanted to include veterans that survived the war. In 1954, our government passed a law to change the name and to include veterans from all wars, those that died and those that survived.

From the Revolutionary War until today, more than one million of our veterans died in U.S. wars and conflicts protecting our freedom. Because of the service and sacrifices of our veterans and Armed Forces (soldiers, Marines, sailors, and airmen), we have the freedom to be who we are and live the lives that we do.

Help them to understand what freedom is. Tell them that we have many freedoms, such as going to the church of our choice. We can live where we want and go where we want. We can marry whomever we want and raise a family. We can go to school. We can be treated the same as other people because we are equal. We can vote for whomever we want to be in charge of our government. We are the land of the free and the home of the brave.

Do they know that in some countries, people do not have the freedoms that we have? Tell them that is why it is important to remember and honor our veterans on Veterans Day. We must never forget them or what they have sacrificed for our freedom. Thank a vet for the freedom to be who you are.

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