Kenya Baker | Staff Writer
The United States of America has arguably the strongest military force in the world. While this is partly due to the expanse of resources both material and economic that the United States possesses, it is also because of the valor and brilliance of the American soldiers and military personnel.
This is why November 11 was named Veteran’s Day. According to publicholiday.us, Veteran’s Day is dedicated to honoring those that served in the military. Initially, the holiday began as a day of remembrance of the ending of World War I. It was first declared a holiday by President Woodrow Wilson in 1919 as “Armistice Day” and then changed to “Veteran’s Day” in 1954.
In honor of Veteran’s Day there are parades and ceremonies across the country that are dedicated to those that served in the military. For example, the cemetery on campus will host a ceremony honoring those that are a part of the military. John McDonald, Army ROTC Enrollment Scholarship Officer, plans on spending Veteran’s Day by “offering thank yous to those that came before me as someone lucky to serve so many of those people that serve.”
Lieutenant Colonel Yusef E. Good, professor of Military Science says, “I do reflect, think about those that have served. Probably get on Facebook or something and connect with soldiers that I’ve served with.”
In addition to showing appreciation, an article on U.S. News suggests “six other ways to honor Vets on Veteran’s Day” and year round. The story says people can visit a retirement home to talk to the veterans there, send a letter to a veteran or active duty soldier, do chores for a veteran in their neighborhood, invite a veteran to Thanksgiving dinner, learn more about veterans and teach what you have learned to others.
Captain Gary P. Flowers, an assistant Military Science professor who has been in combat once for three years straight, his last tour being in Afghanistan in 2012, feels that the American people do support their soldiers.
In fact he thinks the support soldiers receive makes their jobs a little easier emotionally while away and in combat. He shared that “sometimes there are events where we’re sponsoring cities, those cities give us a lot of love.
The city, in return, sends care packages, for example packages or letters to a soldier that doesn’t have a lot of family. To think about someone else is heartfelt and inspiring.”
Captain Flowers also pointed out that of our entire population in America, only 1 percent of people enlist to protect and serve. He says, “If we didn’t have these people, we wouldn’t have luxuries like choices; most people don’t have choices. As Americans, our choices are guaranteed.”
Captain Flowers plans to “do a small memorial for those that have lost their lives and made sacrifices…” in honor of those that have served. “Think about those soldiers. Look at all the dudes from World War I, those dudes made a huge sacrifice. A soldier fights for all people.”
Approximately 9.2 million veterans are over the age 65, 1.9 million veterans are under the age of 35 and 1.8 million veterans are women. States such as California, Florida, Texas, New York, and Pennsylvania have at least one million veterans making up their population.
Although Veteran’s Day often gets confused with Memorial Day, which is in May, it is still important to say thank you to those that serve and protect America. These brave men and women come from all different walks of life and deserve to be respected and appreciated for their sacrifices.
So the next time you see someone in uniform make sure to let them know you appreciate their efforts.