RAB celebrates Veterans Day

Members of the Spangdahlem Air Base honor guard team stand in formation during a Veterans Day ceremony at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, Belgium, Nov. 11, 2017. The team conducted a three volley salute which historically signifies an end to hostilities for a period of time. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)

In the heartland of Germany, Ramstein Air Base embodies and celebrates Veterans Day every day with their workforce and retiree community. There are approximately 56,000 active-duty military, family members, and DoD civilians that live in and around the Kaiserslautern Military Community. The KMC also includes a robust retiree community that thrives in this area, which is the largest American settlement outside of the United States.

Veterans Day is a celebration of all those who have served in the military at some point, no matter how long. Ramstein Air Base is a living example of veterans at work every day, for their country, and for their host nation, ensuring the safety and security of base personnel and their families. 

Ramstein is within proximity to several American Battle Monuments Commission cemeteries and memorials that host Veterans Day ceremonies each year.

To all our veterans, thank you for your service!

U.S. Airmen assigned to the 86th Civil Engineer Group stand in formation during a Veterans Day Ceremony at Henri-Chapelle American Cemetery and Memorial, Belgium, Nov. 11, 2017. The ceremony included speeches, a wreath-laying presentation, a three volley salute, and a playing of the Belgian and American national anthems. (U.S. Air Force photo by Airman 1st Class Joshua Magbanua)


November 11 is synonymous with the last month, last day, last hour, and last minute of World War I. Originally coined “Armistice Day” by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, the day celebrated peace with parades, public gatherings, and a suspension of business. In 1938, the U.S. Congress passed a concurrent resolution that made every Nov. 11 a legal holiday.

In 1954, after World War II and the Korean Conflict, U.S. Congress amended the act to replace “Armistice” with “Veterans,” to be inclusive to all those who had served. The Veterans Affairs’ Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs states that Veterans Day is “a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.”

Fun Facts

  • Veterans Day is different from Memorial Day, celebrated in May every year; Memorial Day honors those servicemembers who died in action, or from their wounds sustained in action. Veterans Day honors all servicemembers for their service to their country.
  • “Lest We Forget,” a popular snippet from Rudyard Kipling’s poem “Recessional,” symbolizes the plea to remember all lost servicemembers, to not forget those who made the ultimate sacrifice.
  • For a short period of time (ten years), the U.S. celebrated Veterans Day on the fourth Monday in October. The change proved unpopular, and the holiday reverted to its original date of November 11.
  • Many may notice that “Veterans Day” does not have an apostrophe; the VA states that “Veterans Day is not a day that belongs to veterans, it is a day for honoring veterans directly in front of us right now.”
  • Countries around the world celebrate their veterans annually, often under different names. Great Britain calls it “Remembrance Day,” and observes it the Sunday closest to Nov. 11; Canada and Australia also observe “Remembrance Day” on Nov. 11. Additionally, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain wear red poppy flowers on their lapel to recognize the war dead.