What began as a day intended to be filled with “solemn pride in the heroism of those
who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of
the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America
to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…"
(President Wilson) has turned into something somewhat different.
In 1926 the US Congress recognized the end of World War I as having occurred on November 11, 1918 and marked it as a date of national commemoration. Twelve years later that date was officially recognized as a Federal holiday and became known as “Armistice Day.” After World War II the intent was changed to honor all veterans, not just those from WWI and the name was therefore changed to Veteran’s Day.
So, after that little history lesson we are now left to decide what the day is now. While many communities still hold parades and other ceremonies for the veterans the holiday is now more focused on consumerism that patriotism. How many ads have you seen in the past week heralding the great deals to be had during their Veteran’s Day Sale? Interestingly enough many of those companies don’t actually offer military discounts; it is not a day to celebrate veterans but rather a day to draw in consumers. In the interest of saving money & supporting military I called a few of the chains that promote their sales the most: Kohl’s = no discount, Macy’s = no discount, Sears = no discount…this seems to be getting a bit redundant and disappointing.
I took my search online since it was taking too long to reach customer service agents at most of the stores I called. I came upon a handy little page at military.com that lists many, many discounts for the military and their families. I found everything from vehicle dealerships to cruise’s to home improvement stores (both Home Depot & Lowe’s offer a discount year round). Restaurants tend to put their money where their mouth is in that most of the chains actually offer discounts and many even offer free food on veteran’s day for those who have previously or who are currently serving. Chili’s, Applebee’s, Sizzler, Outback, and of course Golden Corral all offer either an appetizer or an entire meal free to eligible individuals.
It may seems as though I’ve got a bit of the consumerism bug myself, what with searching out deals for vets but it’s more than me just trying to be frugal. I believe if you are going to say you support the troops and use a holiday meant to honor those who have or are currently serving then you should actually offer them something tangible. A 99 cent magnetic ribbon that you slap on your bumper supports the manufacturer in China who made it, not the military. The 10% discount you offer at the checkout, the cup of coffee you buy a military member, those give a little something back to the people who are willing to give this country and you so much.
Happy Veteran’s Day.