Unlike Memorial Day which is to remember and honor military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle, Veterans Day is a special day to thank and honor ALL those who served honorably in the military – in wartime or peacetime.
In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security are appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served – not only those who died – have sacrificed and done their duty.
According the U.S. Census there are currently over 314.7 million Americans in the U.S. and of them over 21.8 million are military veterans. In other words, about 7% of our nation consists of a special breed of citizen that is a United States military veteran.
Poet Maya Angelou once said “[h]ow important it is for us to recognize and celebrate our heroes and she-roes!”
This year, on November 11, 2012 (official “observance” on Monday, November 12th) we honor the millions of Americans who wore the uniform of our country’s armed forces domestically and abroad. The contributions of each and every man and woman that served in the military honorably, regardless of military branch or time of service, has contributed immeasurably to the cause of peace and freedom in this great nation and around the world.
We live in a great democracy where free speech, the right to elect our political leaders peacefully and pursue life, liberty and happiness has been protected by that special minority of citizen that is a military veteran.
Happy Veterans Day, American Veterans and thank you!