The World War I with all its hostilities brought death and destruction across Europe. Millions of people died for the sacred purpose – to end all possible wars by getting involved into one massive war. In 1954, the Veterans Day received its official recognition (initially it was called Armistice Day) and became a national holiday that calls people to remember those soldiers who paid with their lives to ensure peace in the US. Without hesitation I would say that celebrating the Veterans Day is not only necessary, but also useful for the US to ensure its history and traditions being passed from one generation to another. The World War I was not a necessity for the US that could simply observe European nations fighting each other. Nevertheless, the US joined the Allied forces to withstand German military expansion. Celebrating Veterans Day is a tribute to a wise political decision of Woodrow Wilson to ensure his own people’s security and stability. Being on a winning coalition’s side enabled the US growth to a world power, and this result can easily be observed today.
Although the necessity of a Veterans Day is unquestionable, the date of celebration remains a debatable topic. Signing the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 in France officially ended World War I, however, the soldiers stopped being involved into military actions 7 months before that date – Germany proclaimed a temporary armistice with the Entente countries. The fire ceased at 11 AM on November 11, 1918, which officially should be the date of celebrating the holiday. Taking into consideration the fact that “The Great War” was supposed to end military aggression throughout the world, the Treaty of Versailles cannot be considered a perfect date to celebrate the armistice, because the actual date of stopping the bloodshed was much earlier than formal end of war. Although there are no World War I veterans alive, I strongly believe that November 11th should remain not only the official, but also actual date of celebrating the holiday to commemorate those heroes of World War I. I do understand that rapid modern life requires us to postpone the official celebrations till weekends when more people have time, however, there is nothing wrong in recalling all veterans of World War I with a minute of silence at 11 AM on the day when peace, although not so long as it was expected, came to Europe.
The question of who can be allowed to celebrate the holiday is an ethical one. On the one hand, the World War victors are supposed to celebrate peace in Europe and their successful defiance of the German military aggression. On the other side, Veterans Day calls for more universal values, such as respect to each other, peace, and dignity. Being united by the universal human rights and values, Veterans Day should be a remarkable holiday for all those people who truly appreciate these values. One cannot say that World War I had losers or winners since human life, no matter whether it is German or American soldier’s is equally precious. Unlike World War II, which is still fresh in many people’s memories, World War I has no witnesses alive. This means that World War II still gives birth to very controversial discussions and positions, whereas World War I and the Veterans Day can symbolize some truly universal value, such a sacrifice for the sake of peace.