November 11 is the day we set aside to honor the many veterans of military service who have served our country. Are you caring for someone who is a veteran of military service? Many of the vets of World War II are in their 90s or older. The “forgotten vets,” the men and women who served in the Korean and Vietnam conflicts—and a few of the other military incursions that the U.S. made during the Cold War—are aging as well.
What Is Veterans Day?
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.” – US Department of Veterans Affairs
Military service, and especially combat experience, can have an enormous impact on a young man or woman, so it makes sense to encourage your loved one to reflect on his or her experiences, something they may not have done before now. One way to help start the process would be to help them visit a web site like the U. S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs (VA). Another online resource is Make the Connection.net. Here you’ll find a wide range of short videos, made by veterans of all the major conflicts of this and the last century. Those videos may help open a door to your loved one’s ability to talk about his or her experiences. By listening to what they have to say, you honor them for what they did to serve all of us.
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “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 for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…” – US Department of Veterans Affairs
There’s also quite a bit more information on benefits and resources for veterans at va.gov. IF your loved one is a wounded vet, please go to The Wounded Warrior Project, there there is a great deal of support and resources for the wounded vet (and his or her family) to be found there.
More On The History Of Veterans Day
An Act approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday—a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as “Armistice Day.” Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting in its place the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. – US Department of Veterans Affairs
Blessings, and thanks to those of you who served our country,
*Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.net