World War 1, also called The Great War, was a very grotesque one. From 1914 to 1918, countries like Germany, Austria-Hungary, France, the United States, and more battled courageously, putting their lives on the line for what they believed to be for the good of their home countries. Of course, in this war between many, numerous lives were lost. Many families suffered as one of their deepest fears came true—losing their loved ones.
World War 1 ended at 11 a.m. on November 11, 1918. This is the day that the United States of America began to pay tribute, respect, and appreciation to all service men and women—living or dead. The date remained. Still today, we continue to do this every November 11. We’ve dedicated this day to pay homage to the people who sacrificed, and continue to sacrifice, their lives to better ours.
I asked around Reinhardt University, and I was surprised at the amount of people who didn’t know the difference between Veterans Day and Memorial Day. Some people guessed, some people admitted they had no idea, and for some people, it was the first time they’d realized there was actually a difference in Veterans Day and Memorial Day. “I honestly thought they were the same thing until you just asked me that,” a student admitted.
Veterans Day, which is celebrated on the 11th of November, is a day that honors military veterans—people who have served in the United States Armed Forces. May 28th Memorial Day, on the other hand, is indeed a day for our soldiers too, but it is a day when we honor those who have died and lost their lives in war. Though they are similar, they are two different days.
I remember working at Zaxby’s over the 2016 summer. About 3 times a week, we got the same customer—Mr. Daniels. Every time Mr. Daniels walked into Zaxby’s he was wearing something
that represented his participation in the Vietnam War, like his hat or one of his badges. Every time Mr. Daniels walked in, he would always stop and salute me as a saluted him back. He did this when he left too. He wasn’t the easiest to talk to, but he did share a few things about his experiences. “Nine months and 28 days, I was there,” he’d tell me. “Boy, it was so hot. And when it wasn’t hot, it was raining.” He didn’t share with me anything explicit, just other details that were involved, like the foxholes they had to dig and sleep in sometimes. “It wasn’t terrible once you got used to it. Just the fact that we basically had to sleep with one eye open was the rough part.” With the few times I was lucky enough to speak with Mr. Daniels, we were able to create a nice relationship. I was always happy to see him, as he was happy to see me, whenever he walked into Zaxby’s.
“I don’t like war. None of us do, but I sure do enjoy my freedom,” Mr. Daniels always said.
Thank you to Mr. Daniels, and thank you to all the United States veterans! You are all appreciated.
Written By: Devin Françios