Veterans Day in Truckee

Veterans Day is a holiday that is near and dear to my heart because my Dad is an army veteran! He spent three years away from our family, serving in two different wars, and he is a hero, at least to me! He was one of the lucky war heroes because he made it home three times!

This holiday is stuck right in the middle of our traditional big three; Halloween, Thanksgiving and Christmas, so it is often overlooked! It has an interesting history that most of us don’t truly know!

Veterans Day

Artwork by Elonzo Coleman (Done for Veterans Day 2012)

My Dad - 1977

 Lt. Col. Herbert M. Smith, Jr. pictured in 1977

My Dad, Lt. Col. Herbert M. Smith, Jr. pictured in 1977

My Dad - 2012 (at age 83)

Retired Lt. Col. Herbert M. Smith, Jr. pictured on Nov. 7, 2012 wearing his Army uniform for a Veterans Day event at his church.

My Dad, Retired Lt. Col. Herbert M. Smith, Jr. pictured on Nov. 7, 2012 wearing his Army uniform for a Veterans Day event at his church. Sadly, he passed away on Nov. 24, 2023 at the age of 94.

Thanks to my sister Kerry of Healthy Diet Habits, for helping me with the Truckee Holiday Section!

When is Veterans Day? 

Veterans Day is a U.S. Federal Holiday, that is always celebrated on November 11th. If the Holiday falls on a Saturday, it is observed on the previous Friday.  If the Holiday falls on a Sunday, it is observed on the following Monday.

The day is one to honor and appreciate all servicemen and service women who have served in the United States in ALL wars, but mainly the living veterans.

It is a day to celebrate America's veterans for their patriotism, love of America, and their willingness to serve and sacrifice for their Country!

Truckee usually has some type of event to honor our Veterans!

The History of Veterans Day:

  • Fighting in World War 1 ended at 11 am on Nov. 11th in 1918, even though the Treaty of Versailles was not officially signed until June 28, 1919.

  • On Nov. 19th, 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the first celebration of Armistice Day or Victory Day, as a day to show gratitude for the victory of WW1. In 1926 Congress officially recognized the end of World War 1.

  • On November 11th, 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday.

  • In 1954 President Eisenhower declared that Armistice Day would be commemorated as Veterans Day, a day to honor veterans.

  • In 1968, legislation was made that changed Veterans Day to the 4th Monday in October. This day was not the day of the Armistice and Veteran groups urged that November 11th be set aside to honor all of those that had served in the armed forces, not just from WW1.

  • In 1971, President Nixon, signed a bill making Veterans Day a federal holiday on the 2nd Monday of November.

  • In 1978, Congress Declared that Veterans Day would be always on November 11th! It remains here to this day!

Video Tribute to the U.S. Military Solidiers

There are some amazing shots in this video!

Interesting Facts about Veterans Day:

  • The original holiday was celebrated with parades, public meetings and a short work break at 11 am. Since the holiday was also known as Victory Day, people held their fingers in a V, which stood for victory! It is now considered the peace sign!

  • People celebrate this holiday in different ways. Many visit the Vietnam Memorial or The Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Many people place flowers on the graves of lost loved ones. Some places celebrate a moment of silence at 11 am in the morning, when "Taps" is played.

Tomb of the Unknown Soldier

Changing of the Guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, in Arlington, Virginia
Photo Credit: My son, Ryan

  • Many Veterans organizations sell red poppies to be worn on clothing as a symbol of the blood that was shed on the beautiful wild poppy fields in Europe, where many soldiers died. Some graves are decorated with poppies too.

  • Many churches allow a special time for veterans to be honored on the Sunday closest to this holiday each year. Veterans from each war are asked to stand for the wars that they fought, and receive a standing ovation in return! This is a tearful time for many, including me! Try out one of the Truckee Churches!

Veterans Day and Food:

Many restaurants want to thank veterans by giving discounts or a free meal, as a thanks for service to their country, which is awesome! You will need a military ID card and should call ahead to verify participation and times of service!

For all the details on the list of current Chain Restaurants that plan to honor veterans with a free meal, please check out The Military Wallet, blog post! (Great website for the military)

Many local restaurants will also honor veterans on this day, so be sure and call and check out your favorites! 


A special thank you to my Dad for his dedicated military career, and willingness to defend and serve his country! A special thank you to all of our veterans and their families that stand behind them! Please reach out to them and include them in your family, include their kids as your own, and show them hospitality. They often move around so much and making friends is very difficult. Being friendly is such a small way to show your thanks, but it can be a huge blessing to you, and literally change their lives! Learn their stories and teach your kids to love our great country!

Blessings to all those who have served!
Thank You for Your Service!

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