Lesson: Veterans Day

Learning objectives:

  • What is Veterans Day?
  • Understand the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day
  • Why is it important to honor those who have served?

Activity:

Students will learn and discuss either in class or individually the attached information about Veterans Day. Hold a class discussion on the difference between  Veterans Day and Memorial Day.  Discuss why it is important to honor those who have served our country.

Additional Activities:

Hold a Veterans Day celebration at your school.  Invite a Veteran to come and speak about why they chose to serve. 

As a class, write thank you notes or cards to Veterans and deliver to a local veterans home or hospitals.

Which is the correct spelling of Veterans Day?

  1. Veterans Day
  2. Veteran’s Day
  3. Veterans’ Day

Veterans Day – Veterans Day does not include an apostrophe but does include an “s” at the end of “veterans” because it is not a day that “belongs” to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.

What is the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day?

Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Memorial Day is a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle. While those who died are also remembered, Veterans Day is the day set aside to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.

Is Veterans Day celebrated in other countries?

Yes, a number of countries honor their veterans each year on November 11, although the name and types of commemorations differ somewhat from Veterans Day celebrations in the United States. For example, Canada and Australia observe “Remembrance Day” on November 11, and Great Britain observes “Remembrance Day” on the Sunday nearest to November 11. There are similarities and differences between these countries’ Remembrance Day and America’s Veterans Day. Canada’s observance is actually quite similar to the U.S. celebration, in that the day is intended to honor all who served in Canada’s Armed Forces. However, unlike in the U.S., many Canadians wear red poppy flowers on November 11 in honor of their war dead. In Australia, Remembrance Day is very much like America’s Memorial Day, a day to honor that nation’s war dead.

In Great Britain, the day is commemorated by church services and parades of ex-service members in Whitehall, a wide ceremonial avenue leading from London’s Parliament Square to Trafalgar Square. Wreaths of poppies are left at the Cenotaph, a war memorial in Whitehall, which was built after the First World War. At the Cenotaph and elsewhere in the country, a two-minute silence is observed at 11 a.m., to honor those who lost their lives in wars.