We love our holidays. Usually, we love them because we get the day off work or there is some big sale at the local (soon to be bankrupt) store. But you just can't arbitrarily give people the day off or have a sale - can you? You could.
You could just say, "It's the first Monday of the month, take the day off." It would be National First Day or something, and Circuit City would have a sale. Hurry.
But we don't do that, because we like the symbolism of a dead president or some guy who we are told "discovered" America. Don't get me started on that.
We like our religious holidays too, but they're a little different because they usually involve candy, a big rabbit or a fat guy in a suit. Religion.
Almost all of them involve a day off from work, unless you have a shit job in the service industry, in which case you work on all the days - even the first of the month one. Most stores and restaurants are open on Christmas and President's Day, because the people with money to spend have the day off work and we want them out shopping. That's called marketing.
We also have made-up holidays like Valentine's Day where we buy something for our sweetheart because we've set aside a day to buy something for our sweetheart. Never mind that you're supposed to be good to your sweetheart every day, the TV says you're supposed to buy her something, so you'd better Goddamned do it. Stores depend on you.
Today is Veterans Day, and even though we've spent the better part of the last 7 years honoring our men and women in the military every chance we get, we still have this day to celebrate dropping bombs on people, shooting them and generally protecting Democracy in places like France, Italy and Vietnam where they don't celebrate Veterans Day.
It's a little like Memorial Day, but not quite the same:
MEMORIAL DAY: Formerly known as Decoration Day, it commemorates U.S. men and women who died while in military service to their country. First enacted to honor Union soldiers of the American Civil War, it was expanded after World War I to include American casualties of any war or military action.
VETERANS DAY: Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring military veterans. Both a federal holiday and a state holiday in all states, it is usually observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world, falling on November 11, the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I.
So there you go. Like a lot of other holidays, Veterans Day should be every day, but we use today to draw attention to it. Go out and buy something.