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Friday, November 11, 2011

Veterans Day

The Eleventh Hour of the Eleventh Day of the Eleventh Month

Why do we traditionally honor our veterans on November 11th each year?  There is a very good reason indeed because it was supposed to be the end of "the war to end all wars" - WWI.  Well, clearly that did not happen as people had hoped, but when a temporary cessation of hostilities between Germany and the Allied countries went into effect at that hour of that day in the month of November 1918, the basis for honoring veterans on Veteran's Day was born.  The actual end of WWI was months later.

It was President Wilson who first declared that this day be set aside to honor the fallen of WWI, and it was initially known as "Armistice Day."  In 1938, the name was changed through the legislative process to "Veteran's Day."  President Eisenhower championed the national observance of the day by establishing a Veterans Day National Committee to coordinate and bring together all the veteran's organizations and the general public.  Those actions facilitated the national holiday that we observe to this day for all veterans of all wars, living and deceased.

It was my great privilege to honor my father, a WWII Army veteran as well as my father-in-law, a WWII Navy veteran on 11.10.2011 as I pinned on the rank of COL.  It was with their service and sacrifice in mind that I humbly accepted this new responsibility to represent our Nation as a uniformed service member.  It would have been an even greater honor to do so on the day that we traditionally honor our veterans, but they were in my thoughts at that moment.  Today, as I wore the symbol of my new rank for the first full day, Veteran's Day 2011, I felt very proud indeed to participate in the many traditions of our armed forces.

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