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Discussion » Questions » Holidays » How do Americans typically celebrate (a COVID-free) Veterans Day?

How do Americans typically celebrate (a COVID-free) Veterans Day?

Also known elsewhere as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. Are there usually any local (fun)fairs on 11/11? Did you do anything this year to mark the date?

Serious question, non-serious replies appreciated ;)

Posted - November 12, 2020

Responses


  • 52995

     

      One of the many ways is that several restaurant chains offer veterans a free meal, so there are some of us who have a particular establishment we frequent every year for the tradition. 

      The military services perform a joint ceremony wherein the president places a wreath at The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at the National Cemetery in Arlington, Virginia. At other locations  nationwide, veterans organizations such as the American Legion and Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFW), joined by Boy Scout troops and Girl Scout troops, go out the day before and place American flags along certain roadways.

      It is a federal holiday, so the majority of banks and other financial institutions are closed, federal offices are closed, libraries are closed, many (not all) schools are closed, etc.
    ~

      November 12, 2020 6:59 AM MST
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  • 1424
    Thanks for a detailed reply, Randy! I've also read about "(state) fairs," but I suspect my usual understanding of the term wouldn't particularly apply here. It doesn't sound like you'd have a traveling funfair (or carnival) setting up in your city centers.
      November 12, 2020 1:32 PM MST
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  • 52995

     

      Pre-COVID, yes. Also, like SpunkySenior wrote in her response, there are many, many parades of various sizes. 


      How about there; what is Remembrance Day like?
    ~

      November 12, 2020 1:35 PM MST
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  • 1424
    Oh, so you would? That's nice. I always loved those as a child, especially if we could simply walk there. 

    I spent most of my life in Belgium, where remembrance is formal and solemn. To what extent people really care about it, I wouldn't know; but you would commonly hear horns saluting (if that's an appropriate term), and see veterans gathering together at certain monuments, placing wreaths; national TV stations would show documentaries and relevant feature films at night. Of course, the kids love not having to go to school. I haven't experienced Armistice Day in Serbia yet, but I believe it's somber, what with the massive casualties of World War I here as well. This post was edited by Danilo_G at November 12, 2020 9:29 PM MST
      November 12, 2020 1:47 PM MST
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  • 52995

     

      You just reminded me of the entertainment industry‘s contributions: there are television channels that run special programs and/or movie marathons with military themes. For lack of a better term, the latter is largely under the category of “war movies”.  These specials and film festivals usually start about a week prior to Veterans Day.  

    ~

      November 12, 2020 1:54 PM MST
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  • 19942
    In New York City, there is a huge parade down Fifth Avenue.  I've attended a couple of them and they are fantastic to see.  So many people line the streets and the smiles on the veterans' faces can't compare to anything else.  There are also smaller parades in different locales.  
      November 12, 2020 9:15 AM MST
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  • 1424
    That certainly seems more festive than proceedings in Europe, although I reckon that's to do with Europe possibly focusing more specifically on World War I and its many tragedies. I like that you point out veterans' smiles. Thanks, Spunky!
      November 12, 2020 1:37 PM MST
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  • 19942
    I'm surprised to hear that Europe doesn't celebrate WWII more.  
      November 12, 2020 2:23 PM MST
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  • 1424
    You're right; although 11/11 marks the (theoretical) end of the first World War only, I don't know of any equivalent remembrance of the end of World War II (May 8 or, with the Eastern Theatre, September 2).

    I suppose we wouldn't be getting much work done if we had to honour the end of every war!
      November 13, 2020 3:07 AM MST
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  • 19942
    Some of my country's wars don't seem to ever end - Afghanistan, Iraq...
      November 13, 2020 9:09 AM MST
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  • 757
    I did the same way I do every year, go to the VFW for free food. 
      November 12, 2020 2:45 PM MST
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  • 1424
    No fear on Earth like a regiment of hungry wolfhounds.
      November 13, 2020 3:20 AM MST
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  • 757
    You got that right.
      December 28, 2020 11:36 PM MST
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