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The film Saving Private Ryan painted a very grim picture of what the D-Day landing in Normandy was like. The situation in that battlefield was brutal; several dozens of young men died instantly upon stepping out into the beach, mowed down by German machine gun fire. Surviving that initial approach into the shoreline was a miraculous feat, to say the least.

That, plus many other gruesome scenes of battle, are what the soldiers of the US Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps had to go through during World War II. Those who died are heroes, but those who are still alive to tell about it are even more valued. Such is why Veterans Day is celebrated.

Actually, going back to the origins of Veterans Day, it commemorates the end of World War I. It falls on November 11 of each year, commemorating the armistice that ended that war. The armistice was signed in 1918 as an official declaration of the end of all hostilities between the Allied countries and Germany.

Later on, it became a holiday that celebrated all veterans who served in any war, while also remembering the victims of those wars. It is during this day that those who fought for the country and survived are honored.

In most areas, American flags fly at half mast. Also, a two-minute period of silence is observed at 11 am. Additionally, all schools do not hold classes on Veterans Day, but not all of them are closed. The schools that are not closed instead hold special ceremonies to honor the veterans. Federal government offices, on the other hand, are always closed during this day.

For people with relatives who are veterans, this is the perfect day to visit their heroes and celebrate the special day with them. Public activities include parades and other events to remind people of the bravery of those who fought before them.

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