Remembering Veterans on Veteran’s Day

Not all federal holidays are on a specific day. Some are designated as occurring on a specific day and week of a month (like Thanksgiving – always the 4th Thursday of November). Others are on a specific day and month (like New Years Day – always January 1).  Veterans Day is always on November 11.  Why is that?

The number 11 is more than just a number pulled randomly out of a hat. World War 1 ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  Around this time of year, you may see someone wearing or selling paper poppies in front of your favorite store. There’s more to this than raising money for a cause. It is an act of remembrance.

The red of the poppy represents the blood of all those who gave their lives in the war. Black on the poppy represents the mourning of those whose loved ones did not return from the war. And the green represents the new hope and prosperity of grass and crops growing in the wake of the war’s destruction.

There’s even special meaning behind how and where the poppy should be worn.  It should always be worn on the right side with the green leaf oriented at approximately 11 o’clock position to represent that 11th hour, 11th day and 11th month.

If you see someone selling poppies or wearing poppies on the 11th of November – take a moment to think about what those represent. Wave and smile to let them know you understand the message behind their poppy on a very special day of remembrance.