Why We Celebrate Veterans Day.



U.S. Air Force Master Sgt. Robert Lilly, a joint tactical air controller with the 57th Operations Group, pays tribute to a fallen veteran May 28, 2013, at the Southern Nevada Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Boulder City, Nev. Airmen stationed at Nellis Air Force Base volunteered to place flags over cemetery plots as part of Memorial Day ceremonies. (DoD photo by Senior Airman Daniel Hughes, U.S. Air Force/Released). Original public domain image from Flickr

Angus Otte, Ashwin Gaur, and Ethan Lin

As we all know this Friday, November 11, we have the day off. You might be asking yourself why it’s off or you might already know – it’s because of Veteran’s Day.

Veteran’s Day is a day every year when we celebrate war veterans as part of those who sacrificed their efforts to protect our country. The holiday has been nationally celebrated in the United States since 1947 and still is being celebrated with a day off every year.

Veterans Day started in Birmingham, Alabama, in 1947. Raymond Weeks, a World War II veteran organized “National Veterans Day” which was several parades and celebrations to honor the men and women who fought to protect our country. Veterans Day was there to set aside a day to celebrate and commemorate the workers of our country, so we would have a better working environment for everybody. The original intent of Veterans Day was to celebrate world peace but it quickly evolved into a holiday to celebrate not only that but those who fought for our freedom and country.

Around the time Veterans Day was created, unions conflicted about improving working conditions. The first act that started Veterans Day was a street parade that occurred to strengthen the country and make sure people were being supported for their dedication to the country. Veterans Day was the perfect idea to balance out and acknowledge the labor in our country to protect and support us. Unfortunately, as time went on Veterans Day became less and less associated with its true reasoning and more and more people began to take it as another day off. The holiday has evolved from many parades and celebrations to fewer parades and celebrations and activities that honor the holiday.

At first, the name for the holiday was known as Armistice Day but was later changed to Veterans Day in an attempt to be more inclusive and honor the younger generations of veterans service. This was mainly due to the millions of Americans who served in WWII and in the Korean War, so the holiday was changed on June 1, 1954, and has kept its new name since then.

At Granada High School, we still celebrate our veterans loud and proud. In our District, we have people who are veterans and have put together great work in our school and in their service.

Brett Francois is a veteran on campus who works for the district and helps our school behind the scenes.  Francois used to be a campus supervisor at Granada, and now works for the district helping students with attendance issues at many campuses.

When asked about his military background, Francois said, “I joined the Navy in 1990 and I was stationed off the coast of San Diego on the U.S. Leahy, where I performed administrative work and computer work for four years, and I eventually became part of the Executive Division, E-4. I think everyone should join for sometime, it really develops skills and is a great motivation tool.”

“Overall, my work in the military impacted my life a lot going forward because of many things,” said Francois.” If I had to pinpoint certain things, it would have to be the growth in responsibility I gained departing away from home for those four years while learning how I must take blame or acknowledgment for my actions, and how I became way more independent seeing as I had no one to lean on for help. I needed to learn to provide for myself.”

When asked about what made him shift career directions, Francois said,”The life of the military wasn’t meant for me, and I returned home after serving my four years and went to work at FedEx’s administrative team and eventually found myself wanting more, so I browsed areas around me and landed at the LVJUSD office.”

“I picked Livermore because I thought it was a nice town,” said Francois.” I feel that because of it’s welcoming community and nice structure, it was the perfect place to work at overall.”

“Veterans Day is an extremely important day in our nation,” Francois said.”People tend to forget that there are constantly people who are on the clock 24 hours a day, who are putting their lives at risk, and protecting this nation. Whether you support some federal policies or not, you should always support the people who are willing to protect their country over anything else in their lives, and that truly shows a nation’s pride.”