Veterans Day

November 11, 2019 |

Of course, today is Veterans Day. Memorial Day is specifically reserved to honor veterans who died in the line of duty, while Veterans Day is designated to show appreciation for everyone who ever wore the uniform of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, past and present. But do you know the story of how it all began?

Veterans Day was first proclaimed as Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, to commemorate the official end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Other nations that fought in World War I have their versions of that holiday, such as Remembrance Day. But like the US Marine Corps itself, Veterans Day is something uniquely American.

Armistice Day was observed in the US for a couple of decades, but gradually, as the memory of World War I receded and another World War loomed, Americans began thinking of ways to honor veterans of all the wars who fought to security the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity (as the great military editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin noted, “If World War I was ‘The War to End All Wars,’ then why did they give it a number?”)

In 1945, WWII veteran Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, began a personal crusade to turn Armistice Day into a state holiday honoring all veterans. The idea quickly took hold, and in 1953, an Emporia, Kansas, shoe store owner named Al King took up the torch to make it a national holiday. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce joined his crusade, and the very next year, Emporia-born Congressman Edward Rees introduced a bill to create Veterans Day. It was signed by a President who just happened to be a retired Army man from Kansas himself: Dwight Eisenhower. Proving once again that if you want to get something done fast in Washington, let a military vet from the Midwest handle it

These days, we’re bombarded with media-created heroes, from athletes to pop stars to endless movies filled with comic book superheroes. But they all pale into insignificance beside the real greatest American heroes: the men and women of the United States military, who took on the duty of protecting our freedoms, our homeland and the defenseless around the world. They knew it might require the ultimate sacrifice, but they didn’t turn and run. And since 1973, with the end of the military draft, they’ve not only stepped up to take on that burden and risk, they've done it entirely voluntarily.

There is nothing partisan about supporting our veterans. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, your rights are protected by them. Even the free speech right to shout misguided and slanderous nonsense about the United States military is defended by the United States military.

Today, fewer than 0.5% of the US population currently serve, and just over 7% have ever served. That means a relative handful of Americans have carried the load for the rest of us. When they come home after giving so much for us, you’d think they would be treated like royalty. Sadly, many aren’t. Some veterans return home suffering deep physical and mental wounds, and they deserve the best care possible. Those with scars from their service, whether they be physical or psychological, should never be allowed to “slip through the cracks” in the system. It is intolerable that so many veterans have suffered long waits and lack of attention from the VA system, and that as many as 20 a day commit suicide.

I know the debt is sky-high, and spending needs to be cut. But you don’t slash your top priority. Health care for our veterans should always be top priority, as should correcting the shameful recent lapses on the part of the VA. Anyone in that department who would place protecting the system ahead of protecting veterans needs to find a new career right now – forcibly, if necessary.

Americans haven’t always been as grateful to our veterans as they should be. During the Vietnam era, too many people shamefully transferred their hostility over an unpopular war to those who were sent to fight it. The Reagan era brought a renewed sense of patriotism, pride and gratitude for our armed forces. But in recent years, we’ve seen that gradually erode, as self-proclaimed "social justice warriors" (who would wet their pants at the thought of having to be in a real war) have put their personal crusades ahead of the most basic American traditions that show respect for America, its flag and its veterans. I saw a sign that summed up my feelings well. It read: “A man with a helmet defending our country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football.”

If I take a knee, it will never be to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem, or those who fought to safeguard our freedom. It will be in respect and awe of the veterans to whom we owe a debt we can never repay.

Today would be a great day to renew our commitment to placing respect and gratitude for America’s veterans back on top of our priorities lists. You can do that by writing your Congressional Representatives to urge them to support veterans (I suspect some of the newly-elected or empowered ones will need strong reminders), by attending a parade or other civic event, donating to or volunteering for one of the many worthwhile veterans’ aid organizations, picking up the check for someone in uniform at a restaurant, or just telling a veteran or active duty military member you happen to see, “Thank you for your service.”

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Comments 26-37 of 37

  • Richard and Cynthia Coppersmith

    11/11/2019 07:35 PM

    Thank you for being clear and concise and right on. We so appreciate your insight.
    Sincerely, Cindy

  • Daniel Patrick Rand

    11/11/2019 07:28 PM

    You are spot on, whatever branch you may have served in may God bless you.

  • Robert (Bob) Robesh

    11/11/2019 07:27 PM

    I spent more than 35 years as a Green Beret, I have watched the decline of patriotism fall way further than I ever expected in this Country. I Love my Country more than anything else! I have watched and held my brother's in my arms till the end, I would have done anything to save them. Just like I would still today give my own life to save them and my Country! The best thing anyone can do for a Vet is to say thank you, and Welcome Home!
    De Oppresso Liber!

  • Monsignor Francis Xavier Blood

    11/11/2019 07:11 PM

    Great reflection! Many thanks! I could not have written it better!

  • George Borys

    11/11/2019 07:05 PM

    Thank you .
    God bless you and America .
    G. R. Borys
    USMC 1967-1970
    RVN 1969-70

  • Barbara Riefner

    11/11/2019 06:55 PM

    Right on Mike. Our Veterans should always come first and should be well taken care of. Veterans before illegals, that is for sure!! Someone needs to tell the Dems!

  • William Tait

    11/11/2019 06:53 PM

    IMO doing away with the draft was a mistake. Personally I think it should be invoked again. People should have to learn what it means sacrifice for the country, they take it for granted these days not having to do so.
    President Trump has the right mind set regarding waring in other countries as has been for about 40 years here, there, everywhere to no avail and even a need to ask in order to shoot as Obama did.
    Perhaps this would be a way for illegals to get here legally, even if they would otherwise be disqualified which would be likely. I'm sure there are "jobs" that wouldn't demand the attributes needed to actually see combat, etc etc. For instance KP, clearing fire trails, even helping put fires out, all kinds of "other" jobs could be changed out for the "service.

  • barbara wells

    11/11/2019 06:51 PM

    Mike, I served 30 years in the USAF and started my career straight out of college to pilot training then Vietnam. I can never forgive those on the left who disrespected m and others who served honorably upon our return from that war. Today that attitude prevails in America on the left and with those who have been programmed by the progressives over the past 40 years. Since Vietnam I have dedicated myself to exposing the hypocrisy and total lack of integrity on the left, but to no avail until President Trump stood up to the Deep State. Those veterans who understand what is happening in America today are wanting to fight the fight behind strong patriotic leaders like Donald Trump. We must never bend to the tyranny on the left.

  • Ruth lilley

    11/11/2019 06:51 PM

    Excellent analogy of our vets who have and still do...they should bring the draft back and make men out of these pansies

  • Jimmy Humphrey

    11/11/2019 06:45 PM

    When will the government recognize the United States Merchant Marines. They played a big part delivery much needed supplies to our Troops during WW II

  • George Scott

    11/11/2019 06:43 PM

    Great Evening Edition Mike. Our Veterans deserve our utmost respect for everything they have done and continue to do.

    Thanks Again
    George and Betty Scott

  • Stephen Russell

    11/11/2019 06:26 PM

    rather have a Veterans Month vs Day??
    Just an idea

Veterans Day

November 11, 2019 |

Of course, today is Veterans Day. Memorial Day is specifically reserved to honor veterans who died in the line of duty, while Veterans Day is designated to show appreciation for everyone who ever wore the uniform of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, past and present. But do you know the story of how it all began?

Veterans Day was first proclaimed as Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, to commemorate the official end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Other nations that fought in World War I have their versions of that holiday, such as Remembrance Day. But like the US Marine Corps itself, Veterans Day is something uniquely American.

Armistice Day was observed in the US for a couple of decades, but gradually, as the memory of World War I receded and another World War loomed, Americans began thinking of ways to honor veterans of all the wars who fought to security the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity (as the great military editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin noted, “If World War I was ‘The War to End All Wars,’ then why did they give it a number?”)

In 1945, WWII veteran Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, began a personal crusade to turn Armistice Day into a state holiday honoring all veterans. The idea quickly took hold, and in 1953, an Emporia, Kansas, shoe store owner named Al King took up the torch to make it a national holiday. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce joined his crusade, and the very next year, Emporia-born Congressman Edward Rees introduced a bill to create Veterans Day. It was signed by a President who just happened to be a retired Army man from Kansas himself: Dwight Eisenhower. Proving once again that if you want to get something done fast in Washington, let a military vet from the Midwest handle it

These days, we’re bombarded with media-created heroes, from athletes to pop stars to endless movies filled with comic book superheroes. But they all pale into insignificance beside the real greatest American heroes: the men and women of the United States military, who took on the duty of protecting our freedoms, our homeland and the defenseless around the world. They knew it might require the ultimate sacrifice, but they didn’t turn and run. And since 1973, with the end of the military draft, they’ve not only stepped up to take on that burden and risk, they've done it entirely voluntarily.

There is nothing partisan about supporting our veterans. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, your rights are protected by them. Even the free speech right to shout misguided and slanderous nonsense about the United States military is defended by the United States military.

Today, fewer than 0.5% of the US population currently serve, and just over 7% have ever served. That means a relative handful of Americans have carried the load for the rest of us. When they come home after giving so much for us, you’d think they would be treated like royalty. Sadly, many aren’t. Some veterans return home suffering deep physical and mental wounds, and they deserve the best care possible. Those with scars from their service, whether they be physical or psychological, should never be allowed to “slip through the cracks” in the system. It is intolerable that so many veterans have suffered long waits and lack of attention from the VA system, and that as many as 20 a day commit suicide.

I know the debt is sky-high, and spending needs to be cut. But you don’t slash your top priority. Health care for our veterans should always be top priority, as should correcting the shameful recent lapses on the part of the VA. Anyone in that department who would place protecting the system ahead of protecting veterans needs to find a new career right now – forcibly, if necessary.

Americans haven’t always been as grateful to our veterans as they should be. During the Vietnam era, too many people shamefully transferred their hostility over an unpopular war to those who were sent to fight it. The Reagan era brought a renewed sense of patriotism, pride and gratitude for our armed forces. But in recent years, we’ve seen that gradually erode, as self-proclaimed "social justice warriors" (who would wet their pants at the thought of having to be in a real war) have put their personal crusades ahead of the most basic American traditions that show respect for America, its flag and its veterans. I saw a sign that summed up my feelings well. It read: “A man with a helmet defending our country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football.”

If I take a knee, it will never be to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem, or those who fought to safeguard our freedom. It will be in respect and awe of the veterans to whom we owe a debt we can never repay.

Today would be a great day to renew our commitment to placing respect and gratitude for America’s veterans back on top of our priorities lists. You can do that by writing your Congressional Representatives to urge them to support veterans (I suspect some of the newly-elected or empowered ones will need strong reminders), by attending a parade or other civic event, donating to or volunteering for one of the many worthwhile veterans’ aid organizations, picking up the check for someone in uniform at a restaurant, or just telling a veteran or active duty military member you happen to see, “Thank you for your service.”

Leave a Comment

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Your Comment
BBML accepted!
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Comments 26-37 of 37

  • Richard and Cynthia Coppersmith

    11/11/2019 07:35 PM

    Thank you for being clear and concise and right on. We so appreciate your insight.
    Sincerely, Cindy

  • Daniel Patrick Rand

    11/11/2019 07:28 PM

    You are spot on, whatever branch you may have served in may God bless you.

  • Robert (Bob) Robesh

    11/11/2019 07:27 PM

    I spent more than 35 years as a Green Beret, I have watched the decline of patriotism fall way further than I ever expected in this Country. I Love my Country more than anything else! I have watched and held my brother's in my arms till the end, I would have done anything to save them. Just like I would still today give my own life to save them and my Country! The best thing anyone can do for a Vet is to say thank you, and Welcome Home!
    De Oppresso Liber!

  • Monsignor Francis Xavier Blood

    11/11/2019 07:11 PM

    Great reflection! Many thanks! I could not have written it better!

  • George Borys

    11/11/2019 07:05 PM

    Thank you .
    God bless you and America .
    G. R. Borys
    USMC 1967-1970
    RVN 1969-70

  • Barbara Riefner

    11/11/2019 06:55 PM

    Right on Mike. Our Veterans should always come first and should be well taken care of. Veterans before illegals, that is for sure!! Someone needs to tell the Dems!

  • William Tait

    11/11/2019 06:53 PM

    IMO doing away with the draft was a mistake. Personally I think it should be invoked again. People should have to learn what it means sacrifice for the country, they take it for granted these days not having to do so.
    President Trump has the right mind set regarding waring in other countries as has been for about 40 years here, there, everywhere to no avail and even a need to ask in order to shoot as Obama did.
    Perhaps this would be a way for illegals to get here legally, even if they would otherwise be disqualified which would be likely. I'm sure there are "jobs" that wouldn't demand the attributes needed to actually see combat, etc etc. For instance KP, clearing fire trails, even helping put fires out, all kinds of "other" jobs could be changed out for the "service.

  • barbara wells

    11/11/2019 06:51 PM

    Mike, I served 30 years in the USAF and started my career straight out of college to pilot training then Vietnam. I can never forgive those on the left who disrespected m and others who served honorably upon our return from that war. Today that attitude prevails in America on the left and with those who have been programmed by the progressives over the past 40 years. Since Vietnam I have dedicated myself to exposing the hypocrisy and total lack of integrity on the left, but to no avail until President Trump stood up to the Deep State. Those veterans who understand what is happening in America today are wanting to fight the fight behind strong patriotic leaders like Donald Trump. We must never bend to the tyranny on the left.

  • Ruth lilley

    11/11/2019 06:51 PM

    Excellent analogy of our vets who have and still do...they should bring the draft back and make men out of these pansies

  • Jimmy Humphrey

    11/11/2019 06:45 PM

    When will the government recognize the United States Merchant Marines. They played a big part delivery much needed supplies to our Troops during WW II

  • George Scott

    11/11/2019 06:43 PM

    Great Evening Edition Mike. Our Veterans deserve our utmost respect for everything they have done and continue to do.

    Thanks Again
    George and Betty Scott

  • Stephen Russell

    11/11/2019 06:26 PM

    rather have a Veterans Month vs Day??
    Just an idea

Veterans Day

November 11, 2019 |

Of course, today is Veterans Day. Memorial Day is specifically reserved to honor veterans who died in the line of duty, while Veterans Day is designated to show appreciation for everyone who ever wore the uniform of the Marines, Army, Navy, Air Force or Coast Guard, past and present. But do you know the story of how it all began?

Veterans Day was first proclaimed as Armistice Day by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919, to commemorate the official end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. Other nations that fought in World War I have their versions of that holiday, such as Remembrance Day. But like the US Marine Corps itself, Veterans Day is something uniquely American.

Armistice Day was observed in the US for a couple of decades, but gradually, as the memory of World War I receded and another World War loomed, Americans began thinking of ways to honor veterans of all the wars who fought to security the blessings of liberty for ourselves and our posterity (as the great military editorial cartoonist Bill Mauldin noted, “If World War I was ‘The War to End All Wars,’ then why did they give it a number?”)

In 1945, WWII veteran Raymond Weeks of Birmingham, Alabama, began a personal crusade to turn Armistice Day into a state holiday honoring all veterans. The idea quickly took hold, and in 1953, an Emporia, Kansas, shoe store owner named Al King took up the torch to make it a national holiday. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce joined his crusade, and the very next year, Emporia-born Congressman Edward Rees introduced a bill to create Veterans Day. It was signed by a President who just happened to be a retired Army man from Kansas himself: Dwight Eisenhower. Proving once again that if you want to get something done fast in Washington, let a military vet from the Midwest handle it

These days, we’re bombarded with media-created heroes, from athletes to pop stars to endless movies filled with comic book superheroes. But they all pale into insignificance beside the real greatest American heroes: the men and women of the United States military, who took on the duty of protecting our freedoms, our homeland and the defenseless around the world. They knew it might require the ultimate sacrifice, but they didn’t turn and run. And since 1973, with the end of the military draft, they’ve not only stepped up to take on that burden and risk, they've done it entirely voluntarily.

There is nothing partisan about supporting our veterans. No matter where you are on the political spectrum, your rights are protected by them. Even the free speech right to shout misguided and slanderous nonsense about the United States military is defended by the United States military.

Today, fewer than 0.5% of the US population currently serve, and just over 7% have ever served. That means a relative handful of Americans have carried the load for the rest of us. When they come home after giving so much for us, you’d think they would be treated like royalty. Sadly, many aren’t. Some veterans return home suffering deep physical and mental wounds, and they deserve the best care possible. Those with scars from their service, whether they be physical or psychological, should never be allowed to “slip through the cracks” in the system. It is intolerable that so many veterans have suffered long waits and lack of attention from the VA system, and that as many as 20 a day commit suicide.

I know the debt is sky-high, and spending needs to be cut. But you don’t slash your top priority. Health care for our veterans should always be top priority, as should correcting the shameful recent lapses on the part of the VA. Anyone in that department who would place protecting the system ahead of protecting veterans needs to find a new career right now – forcibly, if necessary.

Americans haven’t always been as grateful to our veterans as they should be. During the Vietnam era, too many people shamefully transferred their hostility over an unpopular war to those who were sent to fight it. The Reagan era brought a renewed sense of patriotism, pride and gratitude for our armed forces. But in recent years, we’ve seen that gradually erode, as self-proclaimed "social justice warriors" (who would wet their pants at the thought of having to be in a real war) have put their personal crusades ahead of the most basic American traditions that show respect for America, its flag and its veterans. I saw a sign that summed up my feelings well. It read: “A man with a helmet defending our country should make more money than a man with a helmet defending a football.”

If I take a knee, it will never be to disrespect our flag, our National Anthem, or those who fought to safeguard our freedom. It will be in respect and awe of the veterans to whom we owe a debt we can never repay.

Today would be a great day to renew our commitment to placing respect and gratitude for America’s veterans back on top of our priorities lists. You can do that by writing your Congressional Representatives to urge them to support veterans (I suspect some of the newly-elected or empowered ones will need strong reminders), by attending a parade or other civic event, donating to or volunteering for one of the many worthwhile veterans’ aid organizations, picking up the check for someone in uniform at a restaurant, or just telling a veteran or active duty military member you happen to see, “Thank you for your service.”

Leave a Comment

Note: Fields marked with an * are required.

Your Information
Your Comment
BBML accepted!
Captcha

More Stories

Comments 26-37 of 37

  • Richard and Cynthia Coppersmith

    11/11/2019 07:35 PM

    Thank you for being clear and concise and right on. We so appreciate your insight.
    Sincerely, Cindy

  • Daniel Patrick Rand

    11/11/2019 07:28 PM

    You are spot on, whatever branch you may have served in may God bless you.

  • Robert (Bob) Robesh

    11/11/2019 07:27 PM

    I spent more than 35 years as a Green Beret, I have watched the decline of patriotism fall way further than I ever expected in this Country. I Love my Country more than anything else! I have watched and held my brother's in my arms till the end, I would have done anything to save them. Just like I would still today give my own life to save them and my Country! The best thing anyone can do for a Vet is to say thank you, and Welcome Home!
    De Oppresso Liber!

  • Monsignor Francis Xavier Blood

    11/11/2019 07:11 PM

    Great reflection! Many thanks! I could not have written it better!

  • George Borys

    11/11/2019 07:05 PM

    Thank you .
    God bless you and America .
    G. R. Borys
    USMC 1967-1970
    RVN 1969-70

  • Barbara Riefner

    11/11/2019 06:55 PM

    Right on Mike. Our Veterans should always come first and should be well taken care of. Veterans before illegals, that is for sure!! Someone needs to tell the Dems!

  • William Tait

    11/11/2019 06:53 PM

    IMO doing away with the draft was a mistake. Personally I think it should be invoked again. People should have to learn what it means sacrifice for the country, they take it for granted these days not having to do so.
    President Trump has the right mind set regarding waring in other countries as has been for about 40 years here, there, everywhere to no avail and even a need to ask in order to shoot as Obama did.
    Perhaps this would be a way for illegals to get here legally, even if they would otherwise be disqualified which would be likely. I'm sure there are "jobs" that wouldn't demand the attributes needed to actually see combat, etc etc. For instance KP, clearing fire trails, even helping put fires out, all kinds of "other" jobs could be changed out for the "service.

  • barbara wells

    11/11/2019 06:51 PM

    Mike, I served 30 years in the USAF and started my career straight out of college to pilot training then Vietnam. I can never forgive those on the left who disrespected m and others who served honorably upon our return from that war. Today that attitude prevails in America on the left and with those who have been programmed by the progressives over the past 40 years. Since Vietnam I have dedicated myself to exposing the hypocrisy and total lack of integrity on the left, but to no avail until President Trump stood up to the Deep State. Those veterans who understand what is happening in America today are wanting to fight the fight behind strong patriotic leaders like Donald Trump. We must never bend to the tyranny on the left.

  • Ruth lilley

    11/11/2019 06:51 PM

    Excellent analogy of our vets who have and still do...they should bring the draft back and make men out of these pansies

  • Jimmy Humphrey

    11/11/2019 06:45 PM

    When will the government recognize the United States Merchant Marines. They played a big part delivery much needed supplies to our Troops during WW II

  • George Scott

    11/11/2019 06:43 PM

    Great Evening Edition Mike. Our Veterans deserve our utmost respect for everything they have done and continue to do.

    Thanks Again
    George and Betty Scott

  • Stephen Russell

    11/11/2019 06:26 PM

    rather have a Veterans Month vs Day??
    Just an idea