Today is Veterans Day in the U.S. The holiday was established to recognize the end of World War One (Armistice Day) as well as honoring the service of our armed forces in all conflicts. When I was a child the holiday was widely honored with parades, speeches and school closings. Today, Veterans Day is increasingly forgotten by many Americans. Remember, support our troops in the field and when they come home.
The following excerpt is from the Veterans of Foreign Wars website:
Remembering gives true meaning to sacrifice and service. Millions of Americans’ lives were forever altered because they donned a uniform to protect the freedoms and rights we take for granted. We owe an eternal debt of gratitude to them. And acknowledging Veterans Day is the time that debt comes due. It’s our way of keeping faith.
All of this is particularly relevant now, with the nation at war in Afghanistan and Iraq. Nearly 4,800 Americans have been killed in the two war zones to date. Approximately 1.7 million tours have been logged so far with 600,000 individuals having served there. About 325,000 of them have used VA benefits and services. Many, present as well as past, have displayed exceptional courage on the battlefield, as this month’s issue clearly illustrates.
The 23.8 million veterans living in America deserve the recognition. It is often forgotten that legislative battles were waged over this day and its earlier version called Armistice Day in 1926, 1938, 1954 and throughout the 1970s. Let’s not take its value for granted.