11 November 2006

Happy Veteran's Day

Happy Veterans Day.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 1918 the armistice was signed, bringing the First World War to an end. The rest of the world acknowledges this day as Armistice Day, but since 1954 Americans have celebrated it as Veteran's Day.

Memorial Day is set apart to remember the war dead, but Veteran's Day is a salute to all veterans who have honorably served for any length of time in any branch of the United States Armed Services. Here in the USA only the government takes the day off (except the Armed Forces of course, they are on duty 24/7/365), to most everyone else it's just a day.

Which brings me to the next subject, the VA's Veteran's Pride Initiative.

The VA is calling on all vets to wear their medals on their civilian clothing on Veterans Day to commemorate their service. Other days that vets are encouraged to wear their medals are the 4th of July and Memorial Day. This initiative is the brainchild of R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veteran's Affairs. His message is copied below.

"Veterans Pride
A Message from Secretary of Veterans Affairs R. James Nicholson

America's veterans are the face of America. They come from all walks of life, all ages, all ethnicities. They served our Nation honorably and well and we honor that service, but how do we honor the veteran – the individual who put on the uniform and gave his or her all for our country?
Last spring I had the privilege of attending the ANZAC (Australian and New Zealand Army Corps) Day ceremonies in Sydney, Australia. ANZAC Day is the most important national holiday in Australia, a combination of Memorial Day and Veterans Day.
It was established to commemorate the more than 8,000 Australians killed in the battle of Gallipoli in World War I, and now honors all Australian and New Zealand veterans.
One of the things that stood out during the day-long ceremonies was how all of the veterans and surviving family members wore their medals and campaign ribbons. It focused public pride and attention on those veterans as individuals with personal histories of service and sacrifice for the common good.
That is why I am calling on America's veterans to wear their military medals this Veterans Day, November 11, 2006. Wearing their medals will demonstrate the deep pride our veterans have in their military service and bring Veterans Day home to all American citizens.
Veterans, wear your pride on your left side this Veterans Day! Let America know who you are and what you did for freedom."

I'll be wearing mine.

And continuing in the Valor IT thread, now that it looks like the Marines will make their goal (at the time of this writing they are less than $400 from it) it's time to help out our less fortunate bretheren at Team Army and Team Air Force. Shake a few pennies their way if you can.


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