Bill Greason is proud to be a veteran of the United States military. He is 97 years old. He fought in World War II. Today, Greason lives in Birmingham, Alabama. “I loved being a Marine,” he told TIME for Kids.
Greason calls it a “tremendous blessing” to have been in the military. He feels grateful to have survived his service. Many people who fought alongside him did not.
A monument stands at Arlington National Cemetery, in Virginia. It’s called the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. It honors those who died during service and who could not be identified or brought home. This year is the tomb’s 100-year anniversary. It’s on Veterans Day, November 11.
A World War I veteran named Hamilton Fish suggested the idea for the tomb in 1920. His idea was approved. An unknown serviceman killed in World War I was selected to be buried there. A funeral for the soldier was held at Arlington on November 11, 1921.
In 1958, soldiers from World War II and the Korean War were buried at the tomb. This symbolizes “that no veteran is forgotten,” John Raughter says. He’s with the American Legion. It is a group for veterans.
Veterans Day is not only for honoring those who have died. It’s also for celebrating living veterans.“That’s the key distinction” between the holidays, Raughter says. “Veterans Day honors anyone who has ever served in the U.S. military. Memorial Day honors the fallen."
Many cities hold Veterans Day parades. Bridgette Guinn, 8, lives in Killeen, Texas. Her dad is a veteran of the U.S. Army. In 2019, Bridgette marched in a Veterans Day parade with her Girl Scout troop. “There were a ton of people,” she says.
Kids can also celebrate Veterans Day by sending cards and care packages to veterans hospitals. “Those items are always appreciated,” Raughter says. “The best way to honor a living veteran is to thank them for their service.”