Thursday, November 11, 2010

Day Of Peace

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, in 1918, the world celebrated peace.  That moment commemorated an end to "The Great War" which took the lives of nearly a generation of men (as well as many civilians).  The day would begin the recognition of World War I veterans.

Soldier -- Then
Over the years November 11th would evolve to paying tribute to veterans from all combat eras.  Today, Veterans Day is set aside to thank and honor all--living and dead--who served honorably in the military - in wartime or peacetime.  Veterans are men and women who served in the military (U.S. Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force, and Coast Guard) in times of war or peace.

Veterans have served our Nation, with intention and readiness to give all if called to do so.  Every Soldier, Sailor, Airman, Marine, and Coast Guardsman, no matter their job, has earned our lasting gratitude. They have shouldered America’s National Security responsibilities, while the rest us enjoy our freedom and way of life.  Veterans Day is especially sensitive to living veterans who served during conflict and those who retire after a lengthy service.

Veteran -- Now
Veterans Day is observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. Veterans Day can be a misunderstood holiday and even commonly misprinted as Veteran's Day or Veterans' Day in calendars and advertisements.  Veterans Day and Memorial Day are often confused.  Memorial Day is set aside to honor those who died in the line of service.  The spirit of Veterans Day is meant to express appreciation and recognition of sacrifice.

They were soldiers years ago; today they are veterans.  Our veterans no longer "live to fight another day;” on this Veterans Day we wish them to "live to enjoy another day of life."

Veterans Day began as a day of peace; honoring World War I veterans who made that possible.  92 years later, we continue to appreciate veterans who make our freedoms possible.  Every November 11th, we renew our pledge to never take our veteran's service for granted.  It is important to say this while they are still with us:  "Thank you for your service."