Today is Veterans Day, the one day set aside on the United States calendar where we honor the service and sacrifice of all of our country’s service-members.
• In 1947, Raymond Weeks, of Birmingham Ala., organized a "Veterans Day" parade on November 11th to honor all of America's veterans for their loyal and dedicated service.
• In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace.
And that’s how we got to today. We can all agree that limiting our honoring of our Vets to one day is silly.
Throw on some
• and Blue.
Grab that Old Navy Shirt from the back of the closet, the one with the Stars and Stripes on it, and wear it proud.
Put out an American Flag.
Just the visual reminder to the community you live in, to your family, that these colors don’t run... it sends a message that this day is different.
And, frankly, it sends a message to any Vets who see it that you’re acknowledging them, their sacrifice, their efforts, in a quiet but yet quite loud way.
If you see a man between the ages of 92 and 98, chances are they served in WWII.
The Department of Veterans Affairs estimated that in 2011, 670 American World War II veterans died every day. This number has most likely gone up since then.
If you see a man between the ages of 65 to 74, he probably served in the Korean War.
• Korean War Era veterans make up nearly 16 percent of the 24.4 million total living veterans.
• Approximately 86,000 are women.
If you see a man between the ages of 51 and 57, he probably served in the Vietnam War.
• Of the 2,709,918 Americans who served in Vietnam, less than 850,000 are estimated to be alive today.
Thank them for their service, for their sacrifice. With regards to the “War on Terror”:
• Since the U.S. went to war in Afghanistan in 2001 and Iraq in 2003, about 2,500,000 members of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard and related Reserve and National Guard units have been deployed in the Afghanistan and Iraq wars, according to Department of Defense data.
• As of last year nearly 37,000 Americans had been deployed more than five times, among them 10,000 members of guard or Reserve units.
• Records show that 400,000 service members have done three or more deployments.
And it deserves more than just one day.
But even for just today, let us take a moment, find a way, to show our gratitude for those who served, for those who continue to serve, and to those who will serve, keeping our shores safer.