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Veterans Day Share This on LinkedIn   Share This on Google   Tweet This   Forward This

11 November 2015

We visited the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs for the explanation of why today's holiday skips the apostrophe.

Palace of Fine Arts. Awaiting the return of their warriors.

Here's the official word:

Q. Which is the correct spelling of Veterans Day?

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

A. Veterans Day (choice a, above). 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.

As we pointed out last year in a piece we cannot surpass, today we honor all who served. The Department puts it this way:

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.

And that's where today's image honoring our vets comes from.

No one stands alone. Those who have wept and waited have also served. They have no monument on the National Mall but the caryatids on Bernard Maybeck's Palace of Fine Arts take their inspiration from them. They look out over the walls, their faces hidden, waiting for their warriors to return home.

Those who return home from modern warfare face extraordinary challenges. Combat changes a person.

Not Yet Begun to Fight offers what its producers call "an intimate and compelling view of the human cost of war," as Retired Marine Colonel Eric Hastings reaches out to five men returning from combat. "He brings them to the river and shares his secret: there are places where you can still be consumed by a simple act, find joy in a fight and be redeemed as you gently release another creature, unharmed, into quiet waters."

If your PBS station doesn't broadcast it today, we happy to be able to embed it here:

We're told that only 25 percent of people under 30 vote. Nothing so undercuts the sacrifice of our veterans as that.

If nothing else, voting is an elegant way to salute our veterans and their families for their sacrifices. We heartily recommend it.

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