On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, was declared between the Allied Nations and Germany during WWI. The following year, November 11 became officially known as Armistice Day and in 1938 designated a federal holiday in the United States. Soon other countries, most notably Britain, France, Australia and Canada, would also acknowledge and honor the Veterans of World Wars I and II on or about November 11. In Canada, it’s known as Remembrance Day, while Britain celebrates Remembrance Sunday on the 2nd Sunday of November. In some European countries, two minutes of silence are observed at 11:00am on November 11.
In the United States, an official wreath-laying ceremony is held on Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. Parades and other commemorations are held around the U.S. and many people have the day off from work. Each Veterans Day, we are encouraged to pay tribute to all American Veterans, living or deceased, and especially give thanks to living Veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
America’s Veterans have done everything asked of them in their mission to serve our country and often have their own way of experiencing end of life. At Heart ‘n Home we believe it is never too late to give them a heroes welcome home, which is why we take part in the “We Honor Veterans” Program.
Today, a large percentage of our Veteran population has served during a time of war. Every Veteran is different and his or her unique needs are often influenced by personal military experience. Understanding how Veterans view their military service, whether positive or negative, can affect how they view their disease and ultimately death. Our hospice and palliative care team uses a Military History Checklist to understand and treat the distinctive needs of each Veteran. By affirming lives one by one, we are better prepared to meet specific challenges that may arise during a Veteran’s care. Learn more about how Heart ‘n Home serves our Veteran patients.
On November 11, 2013 the team at Heart ‘n Home will be in the community caring for many Veterans and for some this day may represent their true “11th Hour.” We wish you a pleasant Veteran’s Day and encourage you to take a few moments to think about the selfless Americans who sacrifice home and family so that we can continue to live free. If you run across a Veteran at the parade, say “thank you” and give a quick salute. Affirming the life of a Veteran will go a long way in affirming your own.