Veterans Day is an opportunity for all Americans to come together to celebrate our veterans' strength and resilience; to help those veterans who need it; to honor them by creating new opportunities after their service, and to support them so they can continue making a profound difference in the world.
I rarely speak of it but my father was a WWII veteran who landed on D-Day fought his way through the Battle of the Bulge to come home his county asking little more than to raise a family (and fish). I was of the Vietnam War generation, which for better or worse never did more America than pay taxes and vote. Most of the uncles were vets and to them and my father, I am eternally grateful. They truly were the greatest generation.
Our veterans deserve our lasting gratitude and respect not just today but throughout the year. Without their service and sacrifice, we wouldn't be able to enjoy the extraordinary freedoms we as Americans cherish.
`Formerly known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I in 1918. In 1954, following both World War II and the Korean War, the U.S. Congress - at the urging of veterans service organizations - approved legislation to make Nov. 11th a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Since that first Veterans Day in 1954, Americans have come together to honor and commemorate the service and sacrifice of all generations of men and women who answered the call to serve our nation.
Veterans Day is not for veterans alone - it is a day for all Americans to celebrate and be a part of. Together, as a nation, we can work to ensure that we fulfill our promise to provide our veterans with the support and appreciation they deserve. Their legacy surrounds all Americans each day through the freedoms they guarantee us -- in our public meeting places, the places we pray and play, and in the places we cast our lines or votes. They have answered the call to service - ensuring that in times of both conflict and peace their courage would not waver. They have protected and upheld the great promises of our Constitution.
Today, and every day, we honor the millions of living Veterans and recognize their great achievements. Please take a moment today to thank a veteran and to remember those who are no longer with us.