With Veterans Day approaching, you might be unsure whether your child’s school will remain open or if you’ll be expected to attend your chemistry lecture that day.
The history of Veterans Day began with the culmination of World War I which ended on November 11, 1918. It was called Armistice Day back then to celebrate peace after wartime and the first official observation took place in 1938. Since World War I was expected to be “the war to end all wars,” the only veterans who were honored all served in World War I.
Later, as more wars were inevitably fought, the name change was adopted in 1954 and Veterans Day became a day to honor and thank all American veterans of all wars. It’s still celebrated on the 11th of November.
Here, we’re going over whether or not schools are open on Veterans Day and what you can do instead to appropriately celebrate the public holiday.
Is there school on Veterans Day?
The answer to the question, “Are public schools closed on Veterans Day?” is simple. Yes – public institutions will be closed on November 11th to observe the federal holiday. As for the question of, “Are all schools closed on Veterans Day?” — that’s another story.
For the most part, private schools will also take the day off to observe the holiday, but you will, of course, want to double check.
But what if Veterans Day falls on a weekend? How is there no school on Veterans Day if there’s already no school on the weekends? Good question.
Well, if November 11th falls on a Saturday, schools will be closed the previous Friday. If November 11th falls on a Sunday, schools will be closed the following Monday. Again, you’ll want to double check with your specific institution’s calendar. Rest assured, you’ll still get a day off for Veterans Day.
Without going into too much detail, there’s legislation involved that ensures government employees get a certain number of holidays throughout the year. That’s why federal holidays tend to occur on something like the first Monday in September, for example, instead of a specific day that might fall on a weekend depending on the year.
Actually, in the 1970s, government officials tried to change Veterans Day from November 11th to the fourth Monday in October for that exact reason. But the change was met with utter confusion and a few years later it was changed back to November 11th because of the historical significance of the day.
Regardless, you’ll still get that glorious day off for Veterans Day no matter what day of the week November 11th happens to be.
So, what should you do to spend your time on November 11th in honor of Veterans Day instead of going to school? Here are a few ideas.
Things to Do on Veterans Day While Schools Are Closed
While schools are closed on Veterans Day, here are some things to do instead.
Visit a War Museum or Memorial
Depending on the city you live in, this might not be a huge possibility, but just do a quick Google search and you might be surprised to find out that there is a lot more war history in your area than you originally thought.
Even simply a history museum around town will often have artifacts from wartime and it’s always beneficial to have some perspective on the sacrifices veterans have made for our freedoms.
Volunteer at Your Local VA
Alas, if there’s not a great museum in town, check out your local VA and find out ways to volunteer. Veterans suffer from myriad issues ranging from PTSD to homelessness. A friendly face helping out in the VA could make all the difference to a veteran going through a rough time.
If you’re a writer or a teacher, maybe you could help with writing resumes or prepping for job interviews. If you’re great with the elderly or are a big people person, perhaps you’d consider helping out on a more regular basis.
Who knows? You might find a passion for volunteer work from spending your Veterans Day at the VA.
Donate to a Nonprofit Supporting Veterans
After you volunteer, you might also feel good about donating to a nonprofit that works with veterans. As previously mentioned, veterans go through a lot when returning to civilian life.
Various nonprofits help veterans find jobs, get help for mental issues, bounce back from homelessness, and more. Find a charity that resonates with you and consider donating to the cause this Veterans Day.
Spend Time with the Veteran in Your Family
There’s a decent chance that you may have a veteran in your own family. Whether your brother, aunt, or grandfather served in the military, set up a lunch date with them for November 11th and express your appreciation for their sacrifices.
If you’re close with them, you’ve probably seen all the struggles they’ve been through both while they were in the armed forces and after they got out. And if you’re not, it could be a great opportunity to reconnect and find out more about their life and service.
Overall, this Veterans Day, why not try a new approach to honoring those who’ve served in the military? Instead of simply sleeping in, watching Netflix, and enjoying the day off without a care in the world, let’s all remember why we get this day off in the first place.
No need for grand gestures. Simple acts of appreciation and gratitude can go a very long way. How do you plan to celebrate November 11th this year? Let us know in the comments below.