11.11.11: That’s the date today. All 11′s. the eleventh day of the eleventh month of the eleventh year. That’s kind of cool. Many people have set out to have special events on days like this, particularly getting married. Most women seem to do that so their brand new spouse will have no trouble remembering their anniversary date. Yeah, good luck with that.
However, something also that’s pretty cool about the 11.11.11 date is today is Veterans Day. Here at Sight & Sun Eyeworks, we LOVE our veterans. We proudly wear red shirts on Fridays and give to many of the local and national charities such as Wounded Warrior Project & USO.
And what I have found is that some people confuse Veterans Day with Memorial Day. Here’s a quick break-down of the two very important days that we celebrate:
- Memorial Day: This day is set aside to remember all of those brave and courageous men and women, who in the face of combat, laid down their lives for the greater good of our country. These men and women were often husbands and wives, fathers and mothers and at the very least, sons and daughters. These Airmen, Soldiers, Seamen & Marines were told told to protect and defend our great nation and unfortunately & regrettably lost their lives. This day is set aside for them and them alone – our fallen heroes.
- Veterans Day: On this day, we celebrate ALL who have served, past & present. Regardless of branch & time of service, we honor them. In today’s time, we have an ALL VOLUNTARY military. There is no requirement to serve – none. When the young men and women are sworn in to defend this country and Constitution, it is by their choice and theirs alone. So today, we honor them.
One of the things I teach my seven year old son to do is when we see a veteran or a military retiree is to stop what we’re doing, walk over to the gentlemen and I say, “Landon, let’s thank this real live hero for what he has done for our great country.” And I shake hands with the soldier and have my son do the same as we say “Thank you “.
So should you be out enjoying a lunch, shopping at the store or just walking in a park and you see someone in uniform or maybe one of those ubiquitous navy blue hats that say “retired”, shake their hands, look them right in the eyes and say, “Thank you”. That is the very least we can do for them. And trust me, it means a ton to them that you would even take the five seconds out of your day to do that.
And while we honor the veterans on this day, we also honor them every day by giving them 20% off services everyday. This includes pair of glasses & professional fees.*
Below is just an excerpt from Wikipedia on Veterans Day.
Veterans Day, formerly Armistice Day, is an annual United States holiday honoring military veterans. It is a federal holiday that is observed on November 11. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. (Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)
The U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said
To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.
The United States Congress passed a concurrent resolution seven years later on June 4, 1926, requesting that the President Calvin Coolidge issue another proclamation to observe November 11 with appropriate ceremonies. An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday; “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’.”
In 1953, an Emporia, Kansas man named Alvin King the owner of a shoe repair shop, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. King had been actively involved with the American War Dads during World War II. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into “All” Veterans Day. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce took up the cause after determining that 90% of Emporia merchants as well as the Board of Education supported closing their doors on November 11 to honor all veterans. With the help of U.S. Representative Ed Rees, also from Emporia, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress. President Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law on May 26, 1954.
Because it is a federal holiday, many American people have the day off from school or work for Veterans Day. A Society for Human Resource Management poll in 2010 found that 21 percent of employers planned to observe the holiday in 2011.
Non-essential federal government offices are closed. No mail is delivered. All federal workers are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday sometimes receive wages for that day in addition to holiday pay. The holiday is often celebrated by having a ravioli meal. This tradition dates back to the ending days of World War I when President Woodrow Wilson, aware that the returning soldiers would be longing for home cooked meals, invited 2,000 soldiers to the White House and helped his staff chefs cook them ravioli, which had just become a mainstay in mainstream American kitchens due to commercial canning. Free meals for Veterans are offered in many fast food and casual dinner restaurant chains. In his Armistice Day address to Congress, Wilson was sensitive to the psychological toll of the lean War years: “Hunger,” he remarked, “breeds madness.”
*Discount may not be combined with any other offers and may not be used on contact lens.
Tommy L Neel is the Web Developer for Sight & Sun Eyeworks and a former United States Marine.