Veterans Day is this weekend, which makes it the perfect time for the expression of gratitude to our nation’s military heroes. Approximately 18 million military personnel will be honored this weekend during Veterans Day events held across the United States. Expressing gratitude to Veterans this Saturday is a must, but have you ever wondered what phrases are appropriate to say? Is “Happy Veterans Day” the most appropriate phrase to say or is it “Thank you for your service?” Well, we are here to clear up your confusion so that you can save face and show our Veterans the gratitude that they deserve.
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Why Do We Celebrate Veterans Day?
Before one decides what phrase is most appropriate to use when thanking our servicemen and women, it is important to understand the reason for the celebration.
We all know that Veterans Day falls on November 11th, but you may be less familiar as to why it occurs on that date. Veterans Day (Armistice Day) was first observed on November 11th, 1919. Armistice Day honors the first anniversary of the end of World War I.
In 1926, Congress made the observance of Veterans Day an official federal holiday. Decades later, the name was changed to Veterans Day (the national holiday we all know today).
Related read: What Is Veterans Day 2023? Honoring All Who Served
“Happy Veterans Day” Has Various Meanings
The phrase “Happy Veterans Day” holds different meanings for servicemen and women. Many, at one point, have lost close friends they served with. Therefore, the holiday may not always be one of celebration, but can also be a day of looking back at memories and remembering.
While “Happy Veterans Day” is an appropriate saying to use this weekend, you may consider switching up your expressions of gratitude. Try using alternative ways of saying thanks. Instead of just using the phrase “Happy Veterans Day” you may consider having deeper conversations with Veterans about their experiences and what the day means to them. Don’t be afraid to really get to know the Veterans in your life this Veterans Day 2023, as they have meaningful stories to share.
The Origin of “Thank You For Your Service”
In general, you should strive to avoid using the phrase “Happy Veterans Day” this weekend, as there are better words you can use, such as “Thank you for your service.” However, you may be wondering how this phrase became widely accepted.
The phrase is unique to the United States in the way that we don’t just directly say thank you, but we also show our appreciation through acts. This includes Veteran discounts, product deals, special programs, etc.
Despite “Thank you for your service” being a widely used phrase, its origins are not exactly known. It is speculated that the thank you for your service meaning originated in the late 1990s. This is when the phrase started appearing in print.
Before the phrase was used to thank Veterans, it was commonly used to thank retiring politicians. Such as when Bill Clinton thanked Bob Dole for his contribution to U.S. politics after the announcement of his retirement. Clinton stated, “On behalf of a grateful America, I thank you for your service,” acknowledging his influential career in politics. However, over the last couple decades, America’s relationship with the military has grown. Now, the phrase has an inexplicable connection with military service.
Go Beyond Simply Saying ‘Thank You’ This Weekend
As we approach Veterans Day weekend, honoring the heroes who sacrificed their lives for our freedom should be at the forefront of everyone’s mind. Here are some ways that you can go beyond simply saying thank you or “Happy Veterans Day.”
Wondering what to say instead of “Thank you for your service?” We’ve got you. Check out this list:
- Hold a conversation with a Veteran about their time in the service.
- Attend a Veterans Day event with friends and family.
- Proudly display an American flag outside of your home.
- Read a Veterans Day book or watch a movie honoring the holiday. Rock your red, white, and blue attire this weekend.
- Celebrate your Veteran family members and friends with an honorary dinner.
- Volunteer with a Veteran-owned organization, or donate to a nonprofit.
It is important to say thank you to our Vets everyday, but it is especially important to take an extra moment to express appreciation for our former servicemen and women. We at VeteranLife salute all military personnel this Veterans Day and express our sincere gratitude. Please remember to do the same.