SAN DIEGO, Nov. 10, 2015 — Veterans Day is a U.S. federal holiday celebrated annually on Nov. 11.
Originally known as Armistice Day, it was proclaimed by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1919 as the first commemoration of the end of World War I. He said, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude…because of the thing from which it has freed us,” according to the Veterans Office of Public Affairs.
In 1938, President Dwight Eisenhower signed HR7786 into law, forever changing the name of Armistice Day to Veterans Day, focusing on the contributions of those who have served in the armed forces.
“From Armistice to Veterans, as one Veteran to all, I salute you all! We should honor ourselves for keeping our flag free and secure. We are the courageous men and women who fought and died for the idealism of liberty and freedom for all.” – Richard A. Zelonis, United States Navy “Forever a Veteran”
American freedom and democracy have come at a great price in terms of human sacrifice.
Published by “PBS Newshour,” the following harrowing statistics reflect the extent to which military lives have been lost in service to our country, beginning with the Revolutionary War.
War – Numbers of Deaths
Revolutionary War – 4,435
War of 1812 – 2,260
Indian Wars – 1,000
Mexican War – 12,283
Civil War – 498,332
Spanish-American War – 2,446
*World War I – 116,516
World War II – 405,399
Korean War – 54,249
Vietnam War – 90,220
Persian Gulf War – 1,565
Global War on Terror – 6,852
*Commonly known as the war to end all wars.
“Too many Americans consider it a waste when a member of the military loses his/her life in conflict. We veterans know well that we choose to risk our lives in order to help improve the lives of others less fortunate than ourselves.” – Jeff Sanders, SSG Retired
It is estimated that as of 2014 there are 22 million living U.S. veterans. They constitute 7.3 percent of Americans who have served in the military, according to Five Thirty-Eight, a website that collects statistics (fivethirtyeight.com).
Today, there are approximately 1.3 million Americans actively serving in the armed forces.
There are 1 million active U.S. reservists.
According to the American War Library, a veteran is “Any person who served for any length of time in any military branch…Any GI (War Veteran) who was ordered to serve in foreign soil or waters…Any GI (Combat Veteran) who experienced any level of hostility for any duration.”
“I still see the blood on my hands, the screams in my head, the total devastation and personal loss! It’s like a projector going off in my head…Freedom has a flavor the protected will never know!” – JC “Doc” Glynn, U.S. Army SFC J.C.
Many Americans will be enjoying a special holiday away from work this Veterans Day.
As Veterans Day is celebrated across the country, it is the ideal time to remember with deep gratitude the countless numbers of past and present men and women in uniform who sacrificed their lives for the preservation of American freedom and democracy.
“I have been retired from the Army since 1984. I spent a year in Vietnam. In all those years only one person has thanked me.” -Thomas M. Kimes
All of us at LifeCycles wish to express our heartfelt gratitude and sincerest appreciation for the contributions and sacrifices of all past and present veterans gallantly serving the United States of America.
Until next time, enjoy the ride in good health!
Laurie Edwards-Tate, MS, is a health care provider of over 30 years. As a featured “Communities Digital News” columnist, LifeCycles with Laurie Edwards-Tate emphasizes healthy aging and maintaining independence, while delighting and informing its readers. Laurie is a recognized expert in home and community-based, long-term care services, and is also an educator.
In addition to writing for “Communities Digital News,” Laurie is the president and CEO of her firm, At Your Home Familycare, which serves persons of all ages who are disabled and infirm with a variety of non-medical, in-home care and concierge services.
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