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Originally published: 2012-11-12 12:18:52
Last modified: 2012-11-12 12:18:52

Our View: Solemn solidarity marks this day

Today is Veterans Day, a time for reflection, remembrance and solidarity.

Given the basis for this day of honor -- the signing of the armistice that officially ended World War I on Nov. 11, 1918 --  it should come as no surprise that this solidarity extends beyond the borders of the United States. 

Although the name may not be the same, many of the former Allied Nations will take pause today in one fashion or another to honor their veterans.

In the United States, Veterans Day is traditionally marked as a holiday to celebrate the service of all U.S. military veterans. It is Memorial Day in May, traditionally marked by the wearing of red poppies, symbolic of eternal sleep, that honors our war dead.

Canada's observance, called Remembrance Day, is closely in line with that of the United States', and is intended to honor all who served in Canada's armed forces. Unlike those in the U.S., many Canadians will wear red poppies in remembrance of their war dead.

This remembrance is similar to the Nov. 11 commemoration of Australia's Remembrance Day, which is akin to our Memorial Day in honoring those who died in service to country.

Great Britain, also an observer of Remembrance Day, celebrates the commemoration on the Sunday closest to Veterans Day. Parades and ceremonial wreath laying populate the day. This year, Veterans Day in the U.S. will be officially observed on Monday, in keeping with the tradition of a federal holiday.

While other countries will celebrate the day as Armistice Day, it is our military kinship with Norway that is perhaps most removed from our November commemorations. In that country, Veterans Day falls on Victory in Europe Day, May 8.

But whether the name is Veterans Day, Remembrance Day or Armistice Day, and whether the day is celebrated on Nov. 11, in November or some date months apart, detracts nothing from the solemnity of the occasion: Honor given, for those who serve with honor, when their country calls.