Monday, November 12, 2012

Every Day Is Veterans Day

If you're planning on heading to a bank, major government office, or even a school in many areas of the United States today, we'd advise you to revise your plans, as Veterans Day is being federally recognized today - even though the official holiday was Sunday.

For nearly a century now, since the end of World War I, the first "war to end all wars", Americans and Europeans have celebrated Veterans Day - previously called "Armistice Day" - on the eleventh day of the eleventh month each year, pausing for a moment of remembrance at the eleventh hour. As we do every year, we're reminding you and all our readers about Veterans Day.

Even with all the commemorations and ceremonies across the nation, too many Americans still seem to see holidays like Veterans Day as just another excuse for government workers to have a Monday off. Today should not ever be thought of in that way. For all those Americans who have ever worn the uniform, and for those who still wear the uniform, most appreciate a note or a word of thanks any day - even though most (including our own webmaster) would never demand that recognition.

For most veterans, every day is Veterans Day, at least a little bit.

Veterans daily remember their friends, family, and co-workers who have served and been damaged - or perhaps never came back. Many veterans are involved in programs every day of the week, run through the VFW or the IAVA (Iraq and Afghanistan Veterans of America), or other outside programs like Operation Gratitude.

Contrary to what you may have heard, our government has done a lot for veterans over the last few years.

The V.A., while still dealing with a massive backlog of requests dating back at least five years, has made considerable progress in ending homelessness among veterans. President Obama forced the long-awaited overhaul of the military's civilian transition program this summer, and has pushed the Labor Department's program to streamline military to civilian skills certification, which also appears to be in higher gear these days.

There is at least one thing that makes Veterans Day 2012 unique.

As President Obama noted in his remarks on Sunday, after laying the wreath at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery, "This is the first Veterans Day in a decade in which there are no American troops fighting and dying in Iraq." Hopefully in 2014 we can say the same thing about Afghanistan.

For now, we'd only ask you today to simply say "Thank you" to a veteran, for his or her willingness to serve.

If you miss your chance to say "Thanks" today?

You can - and should - still thank a veteran any day.

For them, every day is Veterans Day.

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