What Veterans Day Means to Me
When Veterans Day comes to mind, the first thing that pops up maybe a day off from work or some great shopping deals. It is important to not forget however, how Veterans Day came to be and why we celebrate it. I would be remiss to not mention that there is no apostrophe in the word Veterans. The day is not possessive. It does not belong to veterans, but it is to honor all veterans!
It is an important day for me, not just because I am still serving in the U.S. Army, but because as a second-generation Korean-American Immigrant, I would not be alive if not for the sacrifice of those who served in the Korean War. To them, I will always be grateful and it is the primary reason I knew I was destined to serve in the U.S. Army and the Army National Guard.
I was 11 when I decided that I wanted to receive an appointment and attend the United States Military Academy at West Point. It was my time to serve and give back for being given the opportunity to pursue the American Dream. Thank you to the Servicemembers that serve, have served, family members, and especially for those that paid the ultimate sacrifice.
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History of Veterans Day
Since 1775, 48 million Americans have served in the Armed Forces. From the battlefields of the American Revolution to the mountains of Afghanistan, men and women have served and sacrificed their lives, defending the Constitution of the United States.
Today we continue to honor those who have served by celebrating Veterans Day. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War.
On November 11th of the following year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Armistice Day, remembering the heroism and sacrifice of those who served. President Wilson proclaimed the day should be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for victory.”
November 11th became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938. In the aftermath of World War II and the Korean War, armistice day became Veterans Day, a holiday dedicated to American veterans of all wars.
Why We Must Never Forget!
It is important that we never forget the breadth of the sacrifice by our nation’s servicemembers. They accept the burden so that all of us, and our children when we are gone, will continue to enjoy the blessing of freedom.
Their story is not a new one. Our nation’s veterans put themselves in harm’s way because they believe in America and in preserving freedom for the generations to come.
These Americans have given up their time, their rights and sometimes their lives to defend our freedom and to bring freedom to others. These soldiers understand the meaning of the words duty, honor and sacrifice. We can never truly repay these American heroes for everything they do, but we can thank them.
That’s what Veterans Day is about – setting time aside as a nation to salute all those who have ever worn the uniform. Their sacrifice is great and understood by very few. It is important that we never forget what we’ve asked them to give, nor what they have so willingly provided, in the name of freedom.
Below are some of my favorite Veterans Day tributes, videos, speeches, and compilations! Please enjoy!
President Ronald Reagan’s Veterans Day Speech 11/11/1985
We remember those who were called upon to give all a person can give, and we remember those who were prepared to make that sacrifice if it were demanded of them in the line of duty, though it never was. Most of all, we remember the devotion and gallantry with which all of them ennobled their nation as they became champions of a noble cause.President Ronald Reagan
Today as never before, we must pledge the things that will continue the peace. Today, as never before, we must pray for God’s help in broadening and deepening for the peace we enjoy. Let us pray for freedom and justice and a more stable world…President Ronald Reagan