Active duty and prior service veterans, stand at ease.
The rest of you, listen up.
Today, November 11, is Veterans Day. Historically, it was the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour that the armistice was signed to end WW I. In 1954, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day, in honor of all Americans who dedicated their lives to the cause of freedom.
The Presidential proclamation read: "Now, Therefore, I, Dwight D. Eisenhower, President of the United States of America, do hereby call upon all of our citizens to observe Thursday, November 11, 1954, as Veterans Day. On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain."
Today, there are 26-million American veterans who are alive to be saluted. That's less than 9% of the resident population. One in 11 out there made the decision to sacrifice themselves in the name of freedom and the American way.
Of course many more never came home--with over 600,000 American military wartime deaths since WW I.
The Backbone of American Readiness
The U.S. military is THE backbone of American readiness ... not only in terms of responding to threats and conflicts, but also in being there in times of need ... recent example: Hurricane Katrina rescue and evacuation efforts were largely accomplished by men and women in uniform. When the need is the greatest, it is our greatest who respond.
Stand tall, vets! Your willingness to put it all on the line for something bigger than yourselves is what has kept our nation and our people at the forefront of history and allowed mankind to overcome its toughest struggles.
Paralyzed Veterans of America