"This is my opinion and does not constitute an endorsement, opinion or official position of the U.S. Army".
What is a Veteran? I like the following definition by an unknown author:
A veteran is someone who, at one point in his/her life, wrote a blank check made payable to "The United States of America," for an amount of "up to and including my life."
World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919 outside the town of Versailles, France. Fighting had formally ceased some seven months earlier when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.
The following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th as the first remembrance of Armistice Day. He saw it as a day filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory.
On June 1, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name of the legal holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Veterans Day gives us all the opportunity to celebrate the bravery, service, heroism, gallantry and sacrifice of all U.S. veterans. It is a holiday that compels us all to go to a place of respect for the hard truths and hard times inherent in military service.
November 11th is important to the over 22 million Veterans in the United States. According to the 2009 Census, about seven percent of these veterans are women. Over 40% of all Veterans are over age 65. Approximately two and one-third million are WWII Veterans; under three million are Korean War veterans, eight million served during the Vietnam War era and four and half million served in the Persian Gulf War (representing service from Aug 2, 1990 to present).
There are a multitude of specials that are available in honor of Veterans Day, so be sure to check with your local installation Army Community Service (ACS) office or Public Affairs Office and surrounding communities on what they have to offer. Restaurants, amusement places, National Parks, retail stores etc… sometimes have terrific opportunities for Veterans and their families. If you are geographically dispersed from an installation an internet search or contacting your local Chamber of Commerce may be the easiest way to explore these offers.
You should check out the AOS Veterans Day Event Page and see if you can take advantage of the activities that may surround you.
The armed forces will forever recognize Veterans Day as a holiday, but for many, their workplace may not. However, Veterans Day can still be observed with a short moment of silence at 11:00 AM. As the War in Afghanistan continues, we will continue to add to the ranks of Veterans in the U.S. November 11th will always be important to all of them. Please remember to "Thank a Vet" on Veterans Day and every day.
Happy Veterans Day to those that Serve!
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