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Learn why we honor our veterans

November 11, 2011
The Inter-Mountain

EDITORS?NOTE: In Observence of Veteran's Day, Mrs. Higgins sixth grade english class at Elkins Middle School wrote letters explaining what Veteran's Day meant to them.Editor,

Hello, I am here to give you some pointers on Veteran's Day. If you would like to learn a few things about Veteran's Day, then I invite you to experience history from the mind of a sixth-grade student at Elkins Middle School. Here are the questions I have come up with to inform you on Veteran's Day. Do you know why we celebrate Veteran's Day every year? Do you know why we should thank a veteran? Why do some people wear red poppy flowers on Veteran's Day. If you do not know the answers to these questions, then you should venture on in our journey to learn about Veteran's Day. Now sit back, relax and take a couple minutes to learn a few things about our countries protectors.

Some people don't know why we celebrate Veteran's Day every year. Originating in 1938, it was called Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson to honor the veterans of World War I which ended on Nov. 11, 1918. Later, the United States was involved in two more wars: World War II and the Korean War. Some veteran organizations urged the government to change it in order to honor veterans of all wars. So on June 1, 1954, Armistice Day was changed to Veteran's Day. There are those who confuse Veteran's Day with Memorial Day. In case you didn't know already, Memorial Day honors American soldiers who died in battle while Veteran's Day honor all American veterans, living or dead, but also shows appreciation to those who serve during time of war or peace. Celebrating Veteran's Day is a good way to show you are loyal to your country and appreciative of all the things the service men and women have done for us. Veterans celebrate it because they have served our country and know what it is like to be in combat fighting enemies to protect your loved ones and friends. Are you keeping up so far on our journey to learning about our countries veterans? Will you finish reading my story as we climb through the tunnel on our way to knowledge?

There are some people in this country that don't know why they should thank a veteran. It is important to give thanks to the brave men and women who serve our country and show our respect to the people who have died serving our country. We should thank them for serving our country because every day they go out to protect us, ensure our safety and freedom and risk their lives for our country and its citizens. I would thank a veteran because I respect them and trust they will make the right decisions when going up against other countries who might want to attack us. Another reason is because they leave their family and friends to go and protect other people's family and friends. People would thank a veteran for serving our country because many people probably would not be here right now without the veterans' help in protecting us. One more reason you should thank a veteran for serving our country is because every time they go to combat, they do not know if they will live or die. I hope you can all see why you should thank a veteran for serving our country.

The red poppy became a symbol for veterans because of the poem "In Flanders Fields" by Lt. Col. John McCrae, a physician serving in the Canadian Army during World War I. He was tending to wounded in Flanders, an area in Europe. During this time, he saw his friend Lt. Alexis Helmer die and helped bury him. The next day, he sat and wrote about what he witnessed in battle. Scattered all throughout the rows of buried soldiers and bloodied ground were wild, beautiful, red poppies. He threw his poem away but another soldier picked it up, was very moved by what it said and somehow it came to be published. In 1922, the Veterans of Foreign Wars made the red poppy the official memorial flower to represent America's veterans. The red poppy is mostly worn on Memorial Day and Veterans Day. You may see veterans sitting outside stores asking for donations for their red poppies. The money they collect goes to help veterans who have become disabled, who are returning from war and to help their families. Isn't it amazing how a poem about a little, red flower has remained such a symbol for almost a hundred years now?

In all of my research on Veteran's Day I have realized what a veteran does is the most important job in the entire country. A veteran is more than just someone who goes out to battle or war and fights other people. A veteran is someone who risks their life every single day and that is something that they should truly be proud of. A hero is defined as a remarkably brave person and somebody admired. In my opinion, if you looked up the definition of veteran, you would find the word hero. Take my advice from the last paragraph, when you see a veteran tell him or her how very proud you are to have that person serving your country and you know you will be safe with them protecting us from harm and attack from another country. I know they would appreciate it if every person who saw a veteran told them how proud they were of them for serving their country well. Do you know what the true meaning of Veteran's Day is now? If not you should research it yourself and find out because it is one of the most important things to know about.

Katelyn Price



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