I’ve had discussions with my co-workers, specific to the marketing power of words. What we call a thing, how we phrase the things we say, and the industry terms we either use or try to introduce as terms to become part of the vernacular…they matter.
What we call a thing helps define it.
This brings me to Veterans Day, the day set aside to honor all veterans. Memorial Day is to honor the fallen, and I make sure to stress that on Memorial Day; Veterans Day is for all Veterans…Memorial Day is for the dead. It’s important we never mix the two, and the names of the days help guide us towards that understanding.
But, what about Armistice Day? The origin of the Nov. 11th tradition, honoring that moment in time that called for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, World War I.
“The 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month.” 1918. A time when, as written by my favorite author Kurt Vonnegut, “millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another.” Vonnegut later goes on to challenge the idea of Armistice Day becoming Veterans Day. I’m going to challenge it too.
I could go on for pages, and spend a lot of time and words on this, but I don’t really need to to make my point.
I believe we should return to Armistice Day.
I believe Armistice Day celebrates veterans in a purer way.
I believe what we call a day matters, how we frame a thing matters, and that we should call it Armistice Day.
I believe Armistice Day inherently celebrates peace, in a way that Veterans Day doesn’t. Veterans Day, arguably and somewhat indirectly, can celebrate war.
I believe holding peace as sacred in our hearts is the best way to honor veterans, and that on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, millions upon millions of human beings stopped butchering one another. We honor that moment with Armistice Day.
What we call a thing matters, and today… I will call today Armistice Day.