Grammar Is It Veterans’ Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans Day? |
The Blue Book of Grammar and Punctuation

Is It Veterans’ Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans Day?

As November 11 approaches, some people may wonder how to write the name of the November 11 American holiday that commemorates the end of world-war hostilities in 1918 and 1945 as well as all who have served the U.S. Armed Forces. Do we use an apostrophe when spelling Veterans Day?

The answer is no. According to the U.S. Department of Defense, “The holiday is not a day that ‘belongs’ to one veteran or multiple veterans, which is what an apostrophe implies. It’s a day for honoring all veterans, so no apostrophe needed.”

Both The Chicago Manual of Style and The Associated Press Stylebook agree that there is no apostrophe in Veterans Day.

Must Veterans Day Be Capitalized?

Another common question concerns whether the Veterans Day holiday should always be capitalized. The answer is that when we are referring to the specific commemorative day, we do capitalize it as a proper noun phrase.

If on the other hand we are making a general reference to a nonspecific day associated with a veteran, we most often will not capitalize the phrase: We’re making Saturday a local-veterans day by offering free breakfast to all of the service members who live in town.

More Examples

Veterans Day is always observed officially on November 11, regardless of the day of the week on which it falls.

Acknowledging and thanking a person for their military service can really make a veteran’s day.


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6 responses to “Is It Veterans’ Day, Veteran’s Day, or Veterans Day?”

  1. Sue McLaughlin says:

    Is this the same for Valentine’s Day, Valentines’ Day, Valentines Day?

  2. Loc Dang says:

    Good explanation on Veterans Day.

  3. T'omm J'Onzz says:

    I can kind of see what USDoD is saying, but don’t all veterans constitute multiple veterans, thus “belonging” to them, ergo Veterans’ Day? Or is the crux of the argument the honoring rather than some ersatz possession, so that it should more accurately be called Honoring Veterans Day, but it gets shorthanded?

    I know — just call it Armistice Day as it was originally, and avoid the problem entirely!

  4. Lisa says:

    Does this apply to their rights as well? Veteran Rights vs Veteran’s Rights vs Veterans’ Rights?

    • says:

      If you are referring to one veteran, write “veteran’s rights.” For multiple veterans, “veterans’ rights” is correct. We see no reason to capitalize the phrase unless it is the formal name of an organization.

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