The observance of Veterans Day on November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day:
A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
It was originally known as Armistice Day because the armistice or temporary cessation of hostilities for World War I took effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For a complete history of Veterans Day, visit www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp.
The following message was from a speech given by Jennifer Love Hewitt. Here is an excerpt of what she said:
What do you think about when you hear the word, “veteran?” Older men in uniform marching in a parade? Well, there’s a lot more to it than that.
The people I’m talking about live right here, they are part of your community, probably part of your family. I’m talking about tens of millions of people who gave their sweat and blood, and sometimes their lives to serve our country.
I’m talking about veterans. And not just the men and women who fought in wars. I’m talking about everyone who served in the Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines and Coast Guard. Active, Guard or Reserves.
There may be vets in your family, or in your friends’ families. Millions of Americans serve our country in the Armed Forces.
On Veterans Day we’re supposed to honor veterans. Veterans served to protect the things we take for granted — like being able to talk about what we believe and listen to the music we like, or being able to travel where we want without being afraid. In America, thanks in large part to our military men and women, we have freedom and opportunities that many other countries don’t have.
So, I’m glad they’re there — ready to fight for our nation and protect us. And I’m glad for all those who came before them, and all those who will follow. Lots of people who served in Iraq left families behind to wait for their safe return. Others left behind girlfriends or boyfriends; or a good job. They certainly left behind all the fun stuff we like to do. Veterans all the way back to the war that made us a nation have made great sacrifices, sometimes even giving up their lives.
Why? They believe in something bigger than themselves. More important, they believe in keeping us safe and free from harm, and in protecting our way of life and all the freedom that we have here.
I believe that’s why we’re honoring veterans now. To say, “thank you.” “Thank you for all you’ve done.”
The following links will take you to the different State Veterans Day activities:
South Dakota: http://www.state.sd.us/
North Dakota: http://www.nd.gov/veterans/