Commentary

November 8, 2013

Veterans Day: More than a day off work

Master Sgt. Jason Devereaux

F.E. WARREN AIR FORCE BASE, Wyo. — What do you think of when you think of Veterans Day? 

Is this just another day off of work for you to get your “honey do” list caught up, or is it a day of thanks and honor for all America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good? 

It might be easy to live this day as just another day and let it pass you by, but let us take a quick look at what November 11 is all about. 

November 11 is known as the day “the war to end all wars” came to an end. 

The armistice that ended World War I was signed in June of 1919, but the actual fighting stopped on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. 

For this reason, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11, 1919 as the first commemoration of armistice day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of armistice day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations ….” 

In 1954 the 83rd Congress amended the armistice act and November 11th became known as Veterans Day and became a national holiday to honor American veterans of all wars. 

Some towns hold big Veterans Day parades and large scale ceremonies while other people might just visit the local cemetery and place flags and pay tribute to those fallen comrades. 

I don’t really believe there is a right or wrong way to pay tribute to our veterans, as long as you reflect and honor those that have served before you and serving today. 

So take a few minutes out of your day on Veterans Day and visit the cemetery, go spend time with a veteran at a local VA hospital or go to a parade and pay respect to all the veterans. 

This is their day, since they are responsible for giving us all of our days in freedom. 

And remember it is the veteran who has given us freedom of religion. 

It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given us freedom of the press. 

It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. 

It is the veteran, not the campus organizer, who has given us freedom to assemble. 

It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given us the right to a fair trial. 

It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given us the right to vote. 

It is the veteran who salutes the flag; it is the veteran, who serves under the flag. 

I ask that each of you fly the flag proudly this Veterans Day to remember all the veterans of America, and I ask that you shake the hand of a veteran and say “thank you for your service.”




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(U.S. Air Force photo by Airmen 1st Class Cheyenne Morigeau)

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