By Jeff White, Induron Sales Manager and Gulf War M1A1 Tank Platoon Leader
Veterans Day is an official United States holiday, observed on November 11, honoring armed service veterans. It coincides with other holidays such as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, which are celebrated in other parts of the world and also mark the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I – major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.)
Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day; Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day is a day for remembering the men and women who died while serving.
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks from Birmingham, Alabama, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama, and annually until his death in 1985.
Although these quotes were spoken well before an official Veterans Day was instituted, I believe they hit the mark:
“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional as to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” –George Washington
No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends. -John 15:15
So regardless of today’s political climate and what each of our opinions are about the current wars or any of the past wars, take heed and honor each and every veteran, as they were and are willing to fulfill their duty (to include giving their life if required) so that we may enjoy the freedoms that only our great nation provides.