“To care for him whom shall have borne the battle, his widow and orphans”
President Abraham Lincoln
Lincoln’s speech, now in its 152nd year anniversary and no greater truth exists today than these noble and elegant words spoken then and echoing now for our American veterans, for this nation and humanity. The year 1919, November 11th became “Armistice Day”, as America celebrated the ending of the War to end all wars, for its first year anniversary. Congress sought a way and means to salute the American military and those who served and passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11th became that national holiday and tribute officially in 1938.
In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. Then in 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11th, due to the important historical significance of the date. In Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11th.
Veterans Day, unlike Memorial Day, acknowledges all American veterans, living or dead, the men and women, giving thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
The brave men and women of the United States Air Force, US Army, Coast Guard, Marines and Navy come from all walks of life, there has been five Presidents from the Revolutionary war, and six Presidents from the Civil war, twenty-six of forty-four Presidents total have been veterans, with ninety-seven Members of Congress, who have or are serving, eighty-one Members of the US House of Representatives, and sixteen Senators. One third of Justices on the United States Supreme Court have served in the US military armed forces, along with possibly your school teacher, policeman, fireman, doctor, and your neighbor.
The Armed Forces are a rainbow of American heritage and ethnicity, those who protect and serve, past, present and future are parents, husbands, wives, grandparents, neighbors, co-workers, and are the fabric of our American communities across this great land.
May we remember freedom is never free, and our lives at home, in our land of prosperity and God’s blessings had a price in the sacrifice of our fellow men and women serving in the military to preserve and protect this nation.
Facts and figures contributed from the Veteran’s Administration and other sources recounts;
16.1 million living veterans served during at least one war.
5.2 million veterans served in peacetime.
2 million veterans are women.
7 million veterans served during the Viet Nam War
5.5 million veterans served during the Persian Gulf War
Of the 16 million Americans who served during World War II, about 558,000 are still alive
2 million veterans served during the Korean War
6 million veterans served in peacetime
As of 2014, 2.9 million veterans received compensation for service-connected disabilities.
As of 2014, 3 states have more than 1 million veterans among their population: California 1.8 million), Florida (1.6 million) and Texas (1.7 million).
The VA health care system had 54 hospitals in 1930, since then it has expanded to include 171 medical centers; more than 350 outpatient, community, and outreach clinics;
126 nursing home care units; and 35 live-in care facilities for injured or disabled vets.
Our current veterans and those in-service make up the military presence of the United States are deployed to more than 150 countries, duty stations around the world, with nearly 300,000 of our active-duty personnel serving outside the United States and its territories. US personnel are seeing active combat in Afghanistan and other global hostile hotspots.
A compilation of US wars, intervention, police actions, our history from 1775, to date, may surprise you:
18th Century Conflicts:
Revolutionary War, Chickamunga War, Northwest Indian War, Shey’s Rebellion, Whiskey Rebellion, Quasi War.
19th Century Conflicts:
First Barbary War, German Coast Uprising, Tecumsah’s War, War of 1812, Creek’s War, Second Barbary War, First Seminole War, Texas Indian Wars, Arikara War, Aegan Sea – Anti-Piracy Operations, Winnebago War, First Sumatran Expedition, Black Hawk War, Second Seminole War, Second Sumatran Expedition, Aroostook War, Mexican American War, Apache Wars, Puget Sound Wars, First Fiji Expedition, Rogue Rivers War, Third Seminole Indian War, Yakima War, Second Opium War, Utah War, Navajo War, Second Fiji Expedition, John Brown’s Raid on Harpers Ferry, First and Second Cortina War, Paiute War, Civil War, Yavapai Wars, Dakota War of 1862, Colorado War, Shimonoseki War, Snake War, Powder River War, Red Cloud’s War, Formosa Expedition, Comanche War, United States Expedition to Korea, Modoc War, Red River War, Las Cuevas War, Great Sioux War of 1876, Buffalo Hunter’s War, Nez Perce War, Bannock War, Cheyenne War, Sheepeater Indian War, Victorio’s War, White River War, Pine Ridge Campaign, Garza Revolution, Yaqui Wars, Second Samoan Civil War, Spanish–American War, Philippian-American War, Moro Rebellion, Boxer Rebellion, Crazy Snake Rebellion.
20th Century Conflicts:
Border War, Negro Rebellion, Occupation of Nicaragua, Sugar Intervention, Bluff War, Occupation of Haiti, Occupation of Dominican Republic, WWI, Russian Civil War, Posey War, WWII, Korea, Lebanon Crisis, Bay of Pigs Invasion, Simba Rebellion, Dominican Civil War, Viet Nam, Communist Insurgency in Thailand, Shaba II, Multinational Force in Lebanon, Invasion of Grenada, Bombing of Libya, Tanker War, Gulf War, Invasion of Panama, Intervention in Somalia Civil War, Intervention in Haiti, Bosnian War, Kosovo War.
21st Century Conflicts:
Iraq War, War in North-West Pakistan, Libyan Civil War, War on Isil, Afghanistan War, Yemen Civil War.
“America, it would not be the land of the free, if it were not the home of the brave!”
Academy Award nominee, Host – “Medal of Honor”
President Abraham Lincoln first created Medal of Honor in April 1863, since that time, there have been 3,517 “Medals of Honor” recipients, nineteen two-time recipients, one twelve year old drummer boy, one father and son recipients, Wild West legend, Indian Scout, Buffalo Bill Cody and one woman to be awarded our nation’s highest award for heroism.
America’s Wars Fact Sheet, May 2017:
American Revolution Mexican War Last Veteran, Daniel F. Bakeman, Last Veteran, Owen Thomas Edgar, died 4/5/1869, age 109 died 9/3/1929, age 98 Last Widow, Catherine S. Damon, Last Widow, Lena James Theobald, died 11/11/1906, age 92 died 6/20/1963, age 89 Last Dependent, Phoebe M. Palmeter, Last Dependent, Jesse G. Bivens, died 4/25/1911, age 90 died 11/1/1962, age 94
War of 1812 Civil War Last Veteran, Hiram Cronk, Last Union verified Veteran, Albert Woolson, died 5/13/1905, age 105 died 8/2/1956, age 109 Last Widow, Carolina King, Last Confederate verified Veteran, Pleasant Crump, died 6/28/1936, age unknown died 12/21/1951, age 104 Last Dependent, Esther A.H. Morgan,
Last Union Widow, Gertrude Janeway, died 3/12/1946, age 89 died 1/17/2003, age 93
Last Confederate Widow, Maudie Hopkins died 8/1/2008, age 93
Indian Wars Last Veteran, Fredrak Fraske, died 6/18/1973, age 101
Spanish-American War Last veteran, Nathan E. Cook, died 9/10/1992, age 106
World War I Last Veteran, Frank Buckles, died 2/27/2011, age 110
VA estimates the number of living World War II U.S. veterans will be:*
*Estimates have changed based on new population projections.
‘The cost of freedom is always high, but Americans have always paid it. And one path we shall never choose, and that is the path of surrender, or submission.”
President John F. Kennedy
May we be diligent to appreciate and honor those who gave their all, even their lives, when called upon by duty or circumstance, so that each of us can celebrate this gift today of life and liberty, “In God We Trust.”
“Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.”