Veterans Day is November 11. It is observed in the United States in commemoration of the Armistice that ended World War I in 1918. Formerly called Armistice Day, in 1954 it was renamed and given the added significance of honoring Veterans.
That begs the question, “What is a Veteran?”
A military Veteran is any person who served for any length of time in any military service branch. It is not just a combat Veteran. It is any man or woman who put on the uniform.
We all took the oath to defend the constitution and the country up to and including our giving our lives. In all wars in our history, 42.5 million have put on the uniform and 1.25 million men and women made that ultimate sacrifice.
As of 2012, there were 21.2 million Veterans from all conflicts residing in the United States. That represents 14 percent of the population according to the census bureau. I’m pretty sure those numbers are lower now because our WW II, Korean War and Vietnam Veterans are dying at an alarming rate.
History has provided us with extraordinary examples of their selfless deeds. Countless millions throughout the world have forever been the beneficiaries of their sacrifice, kindness and generosity.
Often our freedoms are taken for granted. The cost of protecting the liberties we enjoy as individuals and as a nation are frequently overlooked and sadly go ignored. What Veterans have contributed to liberty and the protection of American
Values are enduring because of their quiet resilient strength of character, faultless loyalty, honor and integrity during peace time and in war.
If you ask them they humbly say, “It is my duty and I would do it again.”
English Statesman George Canning wrote, “When our perils are past shall our gratitude sleep?”
Our sense of gratitude cannot “sleep.” We must be willing to pick the Veterans up when they are down, help point them to a new life when they return home and carry them when they are weary.
We, the many have benefitted from the sacrifice and service of the relative few. It is our responsibility to insure our Veterans are cared for. It is a responsibility that we are obliged to fill… It is one that honor demands of us.