Thursday, November 11, 2010

Health Care and Armistice Day--Saluting Veterans

On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m, an agreement was signed to unofficially end conflict known as World War I. It was fought as "the war to end all wars." The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th at Arlington National Cemetery, according to the Veterans Administration. The ceremony commences precisely at 11:00 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns and continues inside the Memorial Amphitheater with a parade of colors by veterans’ organizations and remarks from dignitaries. The ceremony is intended to honor and thank all who served in the United States Armed Forces. The Veterans Day National Committee also selects a number of regional sites for Veterans Day observances throughout the country. From stirring parades and ceremonies to military exhibits and tributes to distinguished veterans, these events serve as models for other communities to follow in planning their own observances.

However, the conflict and war's official ending in 1919, with the Treaty of Versailles, was certainly not the last war, and likely was perceived to be the worst of its kind at that point in history. Unfortunately, nations do not abide by sentiments, or treaties in many cases. Veterans Day continues to be observed in America on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to 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.

Many Americans mistakenly believe that Veterans Day is the day America sets aside to honor American military personnel who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained from combat. That's not quite true. Memorial Day is the day set aside to honor America's war dead. Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors ALL American veterans, both living and dead. In fact, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank LIVING veterans for dedicated and loyal service to their country. November 11 of each year is the day that we ensure veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made in the lives to keep our country free.

Veterans Day is a great time to educate your children about the history of this holiday and the sacrifice and dedication of our U.S. veterans, according to So, how do you celebrate this holiday in a creative and constructive way with your children? Here are a few ideas, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs and

1. Teach your children about the history of Veterans Day by having them create a time line of events leading to the observance of the holiday.

2. Have your kids write short articles or essays of how veterans are honored around the world. And if you know any veterans locally, propose that your kids interview them about what it's like to serve in the U.S. military.

3. Research how American veterans were treated after they returned from various military conflicts, ranging from the French and Indian War to the Persian Gulf War. Ask your children to compare and contrast their findings. Also compare and contrast how women and minorities who served in those conflicts were treated.

4. Have children draw a picture of Veterans Day, and what this holiday means to them. Military children can draw a picture of a parent who is currently deployed, or a relative who has served.

5. Make a thank you card for veterans. Children can give this card to veterans that they know or to veterans who are listed through the local VA medical facility.

6. Ask your children's teacher to invite veterans to their classroom. Veterans can discuss what it's like to serve in the military, and how important it is to observe this holiday.

7. Have your kids make a colorful and fun poster with the names and pictures of relatives who are veterans.

There are a variety of ways to celebrate Veterans Day with your children. And teaching children about the significance of this holiday will help give them a deep appreciation of our nation's servicemembers and veterans.

This Veterans Day we all have a chance to do something very important: remember the sacrifice of our greatest heroes. Too often we think about what has been done for us by our Veterans only on this day. And while it is important as a nation to take time out to reflect on all of our Veterans, we should remember their sacrifice every day of every year. Today is a great time to stop to remember all of our active duty service men and women who are serving around the world. And remember their families who also pay the price for their loved ones to serve. Americans must never forget its retired Veterans and those Veterans who have fallen in the line of duty for our Country.

Today, in Afghanistan and Iraq, US troops are fighting for democracy. And many others are returning home with grave injuries. They need your help. And you must give it to them. This Veterans Day, you are encouraged to support the Wounded Warrior Project. This is a private organization that helps provide support and resources to troops who return home with serious injuries. What better way to honor Veterans than to help these brave wounded warriors? Also, urge others to get involved and show support. Please go to  and find out how you can help.

One of the most personal and meaningful Veterans Day activities for people is to send notes or cards to hospitalized veterans or those living in veterans homes. Or, better yet, visit a veteran in a local veterans hospital or veterans home. The best way to have a "happy Veterans Day" is to do something special to make a veteran happy.

May God always bless our military and keep it strong!

Until next time. Let me know what you think.

1 comment:

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