Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery, 2013

November 11, 2013

President Obama Honors Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. November 11, 2013.

 


Presidential proclamation for Veterans Day 2013

November 11, 2013

President Barack Obama started a tradition of hosting veterans for breakfast at the White House on Veterans Day, before the ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns and other commemorative events at Arlington National Cemetery.

This morning the President hosted a group of Tuskegee Airmen:

Veterans meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, November 11, 2013.  Some of the veterans have insignia consistent with the Tuskegee Airmen.  White House photo

Veterans meeting with President Obama in the Oval Office, November 11, 2013. Some of the veterans have insignia consistent with the Tuskegee Airmen. White House photo

From the White House:

For Immediate Release                                                                                       November 05, 2013

Presidential Proclamation — Veterans Day, 2013

VETERANS DAY, 2013

- – - – - – -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

On Veterans Day, America pauses to honor every service member who has ever worn one of our Nation’s uniforms. Each time our country has come under attack, they have risen in her defense. Each time our freedoms have come under assault, they have responded with resolve. Through the generations, their courage and sacrifice have allowed our Republic to flourish. And today, a Nation acknowledges its profound debt of gratitude to the patriots who have kept it whole.

As we pay tribute to our veterans, we are mindful that no ceremony or parade can fully repay that debt. We remember that our obligations endure long after the battle ends, and we make it our mission to give them the respect and care they have earned. When America’s veterans return home, they continue to serve our country in new ways, bringing tremendous skills to their communities and to the workforce — leadership honed while guiding platoons through unbelievable danger, the talent to master cutting-edge technologies, the ability to adapt to unpredictable situations. These men and women should have the chance to power our economic engine, both because their talents demand it and because no one who fights for our country should ever have to fight for a job.

This year, in marking the 60th anniversary of the Korean War Armistice, we resolved that in the United States of America, no war should be forgotten, and no veteran should be overlooked. Let us always remember our wounded, our missing, our fallen, and their families. And as we continue our responsible drawdown from the war in Afghanistan, let us welcome our returning heroes with the support and opportunities they deserve.

Under the most demanding of circumstances and in the most dangerous corners of the earth, America’s veterans have served with distinction. With courage, self-sacrifice, and devotion to our Nation and to one another, they represent the American character at its best. On Veterans Day and every day, we celebrate their immeasurable contributions, draw inspiration from their example, and renew our commitment to showing them the fullest support of a grateful Nation.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation’s veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2013, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this fifth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand thirteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-eighth.

BARACK OBAMA

More:


Veterans Day 2013 – Fly your flag today

November 11, 2013

Surely Veterans Day is one flag-flying day you don’t need a reminder about.

At least, I hope so.  Veterans Day gets a lot more attention and due homage in 2013 than it did in 2000.  Good.

Poster for Veterans Day 2013, from the Veterans Administration

Poster for Veterans Day 2013, from the Veterans Administration

Parades and ceremonies at National Cemeteries and other veterans memorial sites will mark the day; it’s a good time to consider whether we offer our veterans the respect they have earned and deserve, especially when cutting their benefits.

Fly your flag sunrise to sunset, please. Veterans Day, November 11, Armistice Day, Veterans affairs, veterans benefits

Joseph Ambrose, an 86-year-old World War I vet...

Veterans look out for one another. Joseph Ambrose, an 86-year-old World War I veteran, attended the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982. He is holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War.  U.S. Census Bureau photo via Wikipedia

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Presidential proclamation for Veterans Day 2012

November 11, 2012

From the White House, November 7, 2012; note particularly the history:

Presidential Proclamation — Veterans Day, 2012

VETERANS DAY, 2012

- – - – - – -

BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA

A PROCLAMATION

Whether they fought in Salerno or Samarra, Heartbreak Ridge or Helmand, Khe Sanh or the Korengal, our veterans are part of an unbroken chain of men and women who have served our country with honor and distinction. On Veterans Day, we show them our deepest thanks. Their sacrifices have helped secure more than two centuries of American progress, and their legacy affirms that no matter what confronts us or what trials we face, there is no challenge we cannot overcome, and our best days are still ahead.

This year, we marked the 200th anniversary of the War of 1812. We began to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War. We welcomed our veterans back home from Iraq, and we continued to wind down operations in Afghanistan. These milestones remind us that, though much has changed since Americans first took up arms to advance freedom’s cause, the spirit that moved our forebears is the same spirit that has defined each generation of our service members. Our men and women in uniform have taught us about strength, duty, devotion, resolve — cornerstones of a commitment to protect and defend that has kept our country safe for over 200 years. In war and in peace, their service has been selfless and their accomplishments have been extraordinary.

Even after our veterans take off the uniform, they never stop serving. Many apply the skills and experience they developed on the battlefield to a life of service here at home. They take on roles in their communities as doctors and police officers, engineers and entrepreneurs, mothers and fathers. As a grateful Nation, it is our task to make that transition possible — to ensure our returning heroes can share in the opportunities they have given so much to defend. The freedoms we cherish endure because of their service and sacrifice, and our country must strive to honor our veterans by fulfilling our responsibilities to them and upholding the sacred trust we share with all who have served.

On days like this, we are called to reflect on immeasurable burdens that have been borne by so few. We pay tribute to our wounded, our missing, our fallen, and their families — men and women who have known the true costs of conflict and deserve our deepest respect, now and forever. We also remember that our commitments to those who have served are commitments we must honor not only on Veterans Day, but every day. As we do so, let us reaffirm our promise that when our troops finish their tours of duty, they come home to an America that gives them the benefits they have earned, the care they deserve, and the fullest opportunity to keep their families strong and our country moving forward.

With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service members have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor our Nation’s veterans.

NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2012, as Veterans Day. I encourage all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through appropriate public ceremonies and private prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I call on all Americans, including civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, and communities to support this day with commemorative expressions and programs.

IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this seventh day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.

BARACK OBAMA

More:


Veterans Day 2012 – Fly your flag today

November 11, 2012

Veterans Administration poster for Veterans Day 2012, “Honoring All Who Served” (Click for link to high resolution download version)

Fly your flag today for Veterans Day 2012.

Veterans Day’s falling on Sunday will complicate local celebrations that conflict with local religious services, but national celebrations most often will continue apace, particularly the ceremonies at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, at 11:00 a.m. (in honor of the original armistice that ended World War I, “at the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month”).

Voice of America gave a brief but thorough rundown:

November 11 is Veterans Day in the U.S. – a federal holiday to honor all military personnel who have served the U.S. in all wars.

This is the first Veterans Day since the last U.S. troops left Iraq in December. The holiday this year is also a chance for Americans to thank the rapidly shrinking population of World War Two veterans.

The U.S. president places a wreath every Veterans Day at the Tomb of the Unknowns at Arlington National Cemetery.

Communities across America traditionally hold Veterans Day observances and ceremonies. Federal offices will be closed Monday in recognition of the holiday.

Veterans Day – originally called Armistice Day – was first observed in 1919. One year earlier, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, an armistice between Germany and the Allied nations took effect.

Veterans Day honors all veterans of U.S. military service, living and dead.  The U.S. flag should be flown at full staff for the day.

More:


Fly your flag today, Veterans Day, November 11, 2011

November 11, 2011

Iwo Jima Memorial, near Washington, D.C.

Iwo Jima Memorial, near Washington, D.C.

Fly your flag today.

We honor all veterans on November 11 of each year. The Flag Code designates Veterans Day for flag flying, to honor veterans. (See more on the Flag Code, here.)

More, and other resources


Veterans Day coming November 11 — remember to fly your flag

November 8, 2011

Friday is Veterans Day, one of the score of “fly your flag” dates recommended in law.

Are you ready?  Here’s this year’s poster, from the Veterans Administration (click to get a link for a high resolution version):

Veterans Day poster for 2011 - Veterans Administration

Veterans Day poster for 2011 - Veterans Administration; click image to go to VA site for high resolution version to print

Get your flag out, ready to fly.  Check your local newspaper for times of your local Veterans Day Parades.  Take a look at the VA’s video on the day, below, and make plans to help a vet throughout the year.


Why so few streets named after Vietnam veterans?

June 11, 2011

Junior Cruz of Salt Lake City was 15 when his Eagle Scout Project honored a fallen soldier from our war in Iraq, Adam Galvez.  You can read a stirring story from The Deseret News at Adam Galvez.com.

Junior Cruz, with Cpl. Adam Galvez's parents Tony and Amy Galvez, at Adam Galvez Street in Salt Lake City

Boy Scout Junior Cruz, with Cpl. Adam Galvez's parents Tony and Amy Galvez, at Adam Galvez Street in Salt Lake City

Marines honor fallen comrade Cpl. Adam Galvez, Salt Lake City, 2007

Marines honor their fallen comrade Cpl. Adam Galvez, at the ceremony naming a street after Galvez.7

Once upon a time I might have wondered about the utility of such a project, not because naming a street after a veterans isn’t a great idea, but because the actions required for naming streets might not measure up to the usual expectations for great service in an Eagle project.  This project and the stories about it quickly dispel such worries — for example, notice that the city required Cruz to raise the $2,000 required to change the street signs, such fundraising itself a major accomplishment.  Our son James’s project at the DFW National Cemetery required similar fundraising, and got at least as much in in-kind contributions — but it was major work.

Marines at the naming of Adam Galvez Street, 2007

Marines salute at the ceremony for the naming of Adam Galvez Street, 2007

Reading the news story, I thought back to a question that has plagued me for years:  Why didn’t we have the good sense to welcome back Vietnam vets with parades, and other welcome home activities?  That was one great lesson of Vietnam I think we, as a nation, learned well.  Today national news programs, like the PBS Newshour, honor each fallen soldier in our nation’s wars.  Here in Dallas, and at other cities I suspect, there is a formal volunteer program to make sure soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan deployments get a flag-waving cheer when they get off the airplane.  Churches, schools, Girl Scouts and Boy Scouts volunteer to go wave the flags and cheer the soldiers.  The volunteers may get more out of it than the soldiers, but the message is clear all the way around:  These soldier men and women served their nation, and they deserve thanks and a cheer.

Ceremony naming Adam Galvez Street, February 2007

Ceremony naming Adam Galvez Street, February 2007

Is it too late to do that for Vietnam veterans?  A chief complaint over the years, especially from the war-hungry right wing, is that the Vietnam peace movement dishonored those veterans, chiefly by not honoring them more when they came home.

My brother, Wes, served four tours in Southeast Asia in that war, returning each time to no great celebration other than his family’s great gratitude at his return.  He’s too great a patriot to complain — as are most of the other Vietnam vets.  Our periodic patriotic celebrations now do better:  Vietnam vets get honored at July 4 and Veterans’ Day celebrations, and the fallen get special honors on Memorial Day, in most towns in America.

Junior Cruz hit on a great idea, though:  Name a street in honor of the fallen.

Why not do that for more Vietnam vets?  My hometown of Pleasant Grove, Utah, had a population of fewer than 10,000 people during the Vietnam conflict, but well I remember in my high school years when the list of fallen passed 11, including a recently-graduated studentbody president and basketball star and the brother of a woman in my French class.   Neither of them has a memorial other than their gravestone, that I’m aware.

Adam Galvez Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

Adam Galvez Street, Salt Lake City, Utah

Street names can tell us a lot about a town or city.  In the great booming times of 1950s through 1990s, a lot of streets in America were named after developers’ kids, wives and ex-wives.  More recently developers have taken to cutesy names on a theme designed to sell homes:  “Whispering Waters Way,” “Mountain View,” etc.   Those cities where history gets some note in street names do well, I think.  Ogden, Utah, named a bunch of streets after presidents, in order of their service, from Washington through the second Harrison (and as a consequence, a lot of people who grew up in Ogden can name the presidents in order from Washington through almost to Teddy Roosevelt).  New York has not suffered from renaming a stretch of road The Avenue of the Americas, Washington, D.C. has done well with both Independence Avenue and Constitution Avenue.

Why not rename some streets in American after Vietnam veterans?  While we’re at it, how about Korean War veterans?  We can’t recapture the time and do what we should have done about 58 years ago for Korea or about 45 years ago for Vietnam.  We can do noble things from now, forward.  Why not create memorials that remind us of the great service these people did for their nation, and name and rename streets in their honor?

Resources:


Veterans Day Video — History.com

November 11, 2010

President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama took on the cause of veterans as a special cause of this administration.  In this public service announcement from the History Channel, Michelle Obama and Dr. Jill Biden, wife of Vice President Joe Biden, urge honor to 24.9 million veterans.

November 11 is Veterans Day, a U.S. federal holiday dedicated to honoring veterans who served honorably in war or peacetime.

Veterans Day Video — History.com, posted with vodpod

 


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