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Veterans Day, a national holiday observed every year on November 11th, honors the accomplishments of American Veterans from all of our nation’s wars. Veterans Day is a celebration of the men and women who keep us free. But, it wasn’t always so. Veterans Day began as a commemoration of the end of World War I and, due to that war’s brutality, was a somber reflection of the costs of combat. Our understanding of Veterans Day has changed as has our understanding of the nature of war.

After World War II, the holiday became appropriately festive and less silent. In 1950, World War Two was still fresh in America’s collective mind. America was moving toward a new prosperity and didn’t fully understand a new conflict in Korea. For the first time, Veterans Day was largely ignored. Vietnam veterans served in combat during a troubled time for our nation. Those Soldiers returned from war to a country divided. Veterans Day during the Vietnam War often featured argument and protest.

Today, thankfully, we recognize the heroic self-sacrifice of all veterans. As a nation, we now recognize that the circumstances in which they fought are not nearly as important as their selfless service to our Nation.

On this episode, released on Veterans Day 2017, Joe Buccino from the All American Legacy podcast joins with historian Dr. Joe Coohill and Penn State history professor Dr. Phil Nash, to discuss the evolution of Veterans Day. The All American Legacy podcast is produced by the 82nd Airborne Division. Please subscribe to the All American Legacy podcast on Apple podcasts and tell your friends about it. Leave a rating and a review as these help others find the program.

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