Monday, November 12, 2018

Musings of An Old English Teacher: Veterans Day


Why isn’t there an apostrophe in Veterans Day? There’s one in Mother’s Day. (And why is that apostrophe before the “s”? There’s more than one mother.) Well, here’s the answer! The United States Department of Veterans Affairs website states that the possessive case (the one with the apostrophe) is not used because Veterans Day "is not a day that 'belongs' to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans."

I also wondered about other related days and their occasions, like Armistice Day, Memorial Day, Decoration Day, and Remembrance Day. Are you up to a quiz? How much do you know about these special days?

VETERANS DAY


1. What is the purpose of Veterans Day?
2. How is Memorial Day different from Veterans Day?
3. When is Memorial Day?
4. What was the original name of Memorial Day?
5. Why is Veterans Day always on November 11?
6. What is unusual about the time and date of the day?
7. What is the name of the final treaty?
8. What was the original name of Veterans Day?
9. What President proposed the celebration of Armistice Day?
10. Who was President when the name was officially changed to Veterans Day?
11. Why was the name of Armistice Day changed to Veterans Day?
12. What is Remembrance Day?

VETERANS DAY ORIGINATED AFTER WORLD WAR I. WHAT DO YOU KNOW ABOUT WORLD WAR I?
13. What are the years of WWI?
14. When did the US enter WWI?
15. Why did the US enter WWI?
16. At the time, WWI was called something else. What was it?
17. Which country lost the most people in WWI?
18. What started WWI?
19. What are the names we gave to the two sides in WWI?
20. What countries were on “our“ side?
21. What countries did we fight?
22. What are the best-known battles of WWI? (my guesses – The references give different lists.)
23. What are the best-known figures of WWI? (my guesses – The references give different lists.)

ANSWERS
1. What is the purpose of Veterans Day?
Veterans Day honors those who served in the US Armed Forces, both living and dead.
2. How is Memorial Day different from Veterans Day?
Memorial Day honors those who died while serving in the US Armed Forces.
3. When is Memorial Day?
Memorial Day is observed annually on the last Monday of May.
4. What was the original name of Memorial Day?
Memorial Day was first called Decoration Day. It was an occasion to decorate the graves of the war dead after the Civil War.
5. Why is Veterans Day always on November 11?
Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the armistice with Germany went into effect.
6. What is unusual about the time and date of the day?
The first treaty, signed in 1918, was temporary; the formal peace agreement came later.
7. What is the name of the final treaty?
The final treaty for World War I was the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919. However, it was signed by the Big Four, not by the US. An associate ally, not one of the Big Four, the US objected to the inclusion of the League of Nations in that treaty and did not sign an agreement with Germany until August 25, 1921, with the Treaty of Berlin.
8. What was the original name of Veterans Day?
Armistice Day
9. What President proposed the celebration of Armistice Day?
Woodrow Wilson, in 1919
10. Who was President when the name was officially changed to Veterans Day?
Dwight Eisenhower, in 1954
11. Why was the name of Armistice Day changed to Veterans Day?
To honor ALL who died in military service, not just in World War I (an idea of Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, in 1945)
12. What is Remembrance Day?
British Commonwealth’s version of Armistice Day
13. What are the years of WWI?
1914-1918
14. When did the US enter WWI?
1917
15, Why did the US enter WWI?
The immediate cause was Germany's sinking of neutral shipping in a designated war-zone. Five American merchant ships went down in March, 1917; Germany destroyed the passenger ship Lusitania in 1915, with 128 Americans on board.
16. At the time, we called WWI something else. What was it?
The Great War (The War to End All Wars) - 59 million troops were mobilized, over 8 million died, and over 29 million were injured in a struggle which sharply altered the political, economic, social, and cultural nature of Europe. (Different references give different numbers.)
17. Which country lost the most people in WWI?
Those who lost over a million:
   Germany 1,773,700
   Russia 1,700,000
   France 1,357,800
   Austria-Hungary 1,200,000
----
US 116,516 (mobilized over 4,700,000)
18 What started WWI?
On June 28, 1914, a Bosnian Serb Yugoslav nationalist assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir Archduke Franz Ferdinand in Sarajevo. The assassination set into action a complex network of interlocking alliances throughout Europe.
19. What are the names we gave to the two sides in WWI?
Allies (or Allied Powers) and Central Powers
20. What countries were on “our“ side?
Britain, France, Russia, and Italy were the Big Four. The United States was an “associate” ally.
21. What countries did we fight?
Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, Bulgaria, Romania, Japan, and several others
22. What are the best-known battles of WWI? (my guesses – The references give different lists.)
Marne, Verdun, Ypres, Gallipoli, Somme, Amiens
23. What are the best-known figures of WWI? (my guesses – The references give different lists.)
Kaiser William II - Germany
Czar Nicholas II - Russia
Vladimir Lenin, Revolution Leader - Russia
Prime Minister George Clemenceau - France
President  Woodrow Wilson - USA
Prime Minister David Lloyd George - Great Britain
Marshal Ferdinand Foch, France
Field Marshal Paul von Hindenburg, Germany
General John J. Pershing - USA
Marshal Philippe Petain – France
Lord of Admiralty Winston Churchill – Great Britain
Baron Manfred Von Richthofen, Flying Ace – Germany
Mata Hari, Spy – Central Powers

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