Does Veterans Day Have an Apostrophe?
Don’t use an apostrophe in Veterans Day, either before or after the s.
- Incorrect: Veteran’s Day
Incorrect: Veterans’ Day
Correct: Veterans Day
Omitting the apostrophe
In Veterans Day, the noun veterans is considered a descriptive rather than a possessive term. The apostrophe is therefore omitted.
- Incorrect: Veterans’ families were invited to the concert on Veterans’ Day.
Correct: Veterans’ families were invited to the concert on Veterans Day.
Grammatically, all three are acceptable: Veterans’ Day (plural possessive, like Patriots’ Day), Veteran’s Day (singular possessive, like Mother’s Day), and Veterans Day (attributive, like Independence Day). All three would describe a day meant to honor veterans. The correct way to write the name of this holiday then comes down to style rather than grammar.
The official name of the federal holiday is written with no apostrophe either before or after the s; therefore, accepted style is to omit the apostrophe: Veterans Day.
Dictionaries like Merriam-Webster, Oxford, and Cambridge all omit the apostrophe in their entries on Veterans Day. Style manuals like the Chicago Manual of Style, AP Stylebook, and APA Publication Manual also recommend using the plural form without an apostrophe. Here are a couple of examples from published content:
In 1954 the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor those who had served in all U.S. wars.— “Veterans Day,” Encyclopedia Britannica (Accessed Jan. 13, 2023)
On Thursday, the United States celebrated the first Veterans Day in two decades without troops engaged in an active war overseas.— “Veterans Day,” New York Times (Nov. 12, 2021)
Whether and where to use an apostrophe in the name of a holiday can be confusing, since this decision is often based on style rather than grammar. For a list of holidays written with and without the apostrophe, see Apostrophes in Names of Holidays.
Use of capital letters
Capitalize both words in Veterans Day. Names of holidays are proper nouns and therefore capitalized.
- Incorrect: Offices and schools will be closed across the country on veterans day.
Incorrect: Offices and schools will be closed across the country on Veterans day.
Correct: Offices and schools will be closed across the country on Veterans Day.