President Obama Honors Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. November 11, 2013.
President Obama Honors Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery on Veterans Day. 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.
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
Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder continued the program started by his predecessor, Jennifer Granholm, to send out notices electronically of occasions to fly the U.S. flag, and when to fly flags at half staff. Michigan honors every soldier who dies with a day of mourning, with half-staff flags.
Notices also go out for things like Memorial Day. Here is the e-mail the system sent out today, a notice to fly the flag on Memorial Day, and how to fly it: Half-staff until noon, full staff from noon until sunset.
So now you know.
FLAGS ORDERED LOWERED ON MONDAY, MAY 27
LANSING, MI – The flag of the United States has been ordered lowered to half-staff in Michigan on Monday, May 27, 2013 in honor of Memorial Day. This recognition is asked to be observed until noon of the same day at which point it should be raised to the peak.
“It is a great honor to join with fellow Americans in paying special tribute to the selfless individuals who serve and protect our country,” said Gov. Rick Snyder. “On this day, and every day, we say ‘thank you’ to the courageous and vigilant men and women who sacrifice much to ensure our safety, and we remember those who made the ultimate sacrifice in carrying out their sworn duties.”
Michigan residents, businesses, schools, local governments and other organizations are encouraged to display the flag at half-staff.
When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position.
You may fly your flag all weekend if you wish, of course.
Different activities honoring fallen soldiers are scheduled through the weekend. What’s going on in your town?
The ability to say the right thing at the right time is a gift. Sometimes it’s an earned gift, but a gift nevertheless.
Britain’s Prince Harry visited wounded U.S. soldiers in Washington area hospitals today, and he paid a visit to Arlington National Cemetery where he laid a wreath of remembrance at the grave of a soldier who died in a recent war. Scott Simon of NPR was there.
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
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.
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”).
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.
From the Truman National Security Project, a video featuring testimony from veterans of Iraq and Afghanistan especially, questioning whether Mitt Romney has what it takes to be Commander-in-Chief of the U.S. armed forces:
This is rather the opposite of “swift boating,” isn’t it? An established organization active on national security issues, with a distinguished staff and board of directors, working on a shoe-string, with identified spokesmen.
The Truman Project’s blog lays out the case for President Obama’s election with respect to his initiatives on behalf of veterans. As much as I would prefer to see those positive achievements emphasized, campaigns don’t really allow much time for careful, thoughtful explanation.
Will there be any effect from this advertisement? What do you think?
Perlmutter’s opponent, Joe Coors, is running a dirty campaign against him.
Veterans, military guys, which way are you voting on this one?
President Barack Obama spoke at Fort Bliss, Texas, On August 31, 2012:
Description from the White House:
On the two-year anniversary of the end of our combat mission in Iraq, the President speak to troops at Fort Bliss, and discusses that part of ending wars responsibly demands standing by those who have served. August 31, 2012.
Years ago I feared that many of us learned the wrong lessons from Vietnam, or if we learned the right ones, we weren’t applying what we’d learned. This was a bit more important in the earlier days of our involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq. So I wrote about one of the lessons we needed to improve on: Honoring the people who serve, regardless our view on the entire engagement.
Someday, perhaps when I’m wiser, I’ll get back to that series on the lessons of Vietnam.
A lot of water flowed under the bridge since then. A lot of blood flowed, too.
We did better with our two latest engagements, as a nation, in honoring soldiers. For just one example, DFW Airport set up a special lounge for soldiers returning stateside, and dozens of organizations set up programs to get people out to welcome the soldiers from Iraq with an indoor parade of sorts — Girl Scouts, Boy Scouts, groups of retired veterans and other citizens, school social studies classes, and many more.
That still leaves us with the scab of our treatment of veterans from Vietnam. It’s been good to see cities and organizations make serious efforts to remember them specifically, as well as veterans of Korea-”The-Forgotten-War,” with soldiers and veterans of the modern conflicts. There is more we need to do, I’m sure.
I ran into this short video from Moments.org. I don’t know about the rest of that organization’s ministries, but this video got it right:
So, Wes, McClain, Kevin, Ben, Brenda, Steve, Pat, Al, Ken, Ray, David, Jeff and Jon, and all the rest of you who served, especially in or during Vietnam, consider this as one for you.
Tip of the old scrub brush to cmblake6, who probably won’t ever get another one here. Happily surprised to find something right over there.
Our local Rotary Club provides a U.S. flag planted in your yard for flag-flying events from Memorial Day through Labor Day, for an annual subscription of about $15.00. Local groups, including especially Boy Scouts, Cub Scouts and Girl Scouts, take a route and plant the flags.
As a consequence, our town is loaded with flags on a weekend like this one.
But even if you don’t subscribe to a flag service, please remember to fly your flag today.
Memorial Day honors people who died in defense of the nation. Armed Forces Day honors those who serve currently, celebrated the third Saturday in May. Veterans Day honors the veterans who returned.
On Memorial Day itself, flags on poles or masts should be flown at half-staff from sunrise to noon. At noon, flags should be raised to full-staff position.
When posting a flag at half-staff, the flag should be raised to the full-staff position first, with vigor, then slowly lowered to half-staff; when retiring a flag posted at half-staff, it should be raised to the full staff position first, with vigor, and then be slowly lowered. Some people attach black streamers to stationary flags, though this is not officially recognized by the U.S. Flag Code.
On Memorial Day, 3:00 p.m. local time is designated as the National Moment of Remembrance.
Memorial Day traditionally came on May 30, but now comes on the last Monday in May.
Remember to fly your flag Monday. Heck, you can fly it all weekend if you wish.
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):
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.
Michigan’s Gov. Rick Snyder chose to continue the practice of his predecessor, Gov. Jennifer Granholm, in ordering flags to be flown at half-staff throughout the state to honor a Michigan soldiers killed in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Good on him.
Flags to be lowered Monday, June 27
for Private First Class Brian J. Backus
LANSING, Mich. – Gov. Rick Snyder ordered U.S. flags throughout the state to be lowered to half-staff in honor of Private First Class Brian J. Backus on Monday, June 27. Flags should be returned to full-staff on Tuesday, June 28.
Backus, 21, of Harbor Beach, died June 18 in Kandahar province, Afghanistan, of wounds suffered when insurgents attacked his unit with small arms fire.
“Pfc. Backus served our country with bravery and courage. My thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends at this time of great sorrow,” Snyder said.
Backus was assigned to the 2nd Battalion, 87th Infantry Regiment, 3rd Brigade Combat Team, 10th Mountain Division of Fort Drum, New York. His awards include the National Defense Service Medal, the Afghanistan Campaign Medal, the Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, the Army Service Ribbon and the Combat Medical Badge. Backus deployed with his unit in March 2011 to Afghanistan in support of Operation Enduring Freedom.
The funeral service and arrangements are pending.
When flown at half-staff or half-mast, the U.S. flag should be hoisted first to the peak for an instant and then lowered to the half-staff or half-mast position. The flag should again be raised to the peak before it is lowered for the day.
This message was sent on Thursday, June 23, 2011 at 12:28 p.m.
Five days on the road and we hoped to make it home Friday night.
Air conditioning on the bus failed, and then the vacuum system failed and we lost the ability to close the door, and we started to lose brakes. Fortunately, we were within sight of Dallas when things really came to smash.
So our Teachers Tour of Presidential Libraries came to an interesting end last night. More good fortune — the bus stalled out in the parking lot of a gas station with a Dickey’s Barbecue attached. Ross Perot is right, at least about this: Dickey’s food is worth the stop.
Other stops along the way provided nutrition for our minds, and for our classroom preparation. Education experts at the 13 National Archives-related Presidential Libraries work together, and work separately, to create classroom friendly and classroom ready materials. Beyond the museums, we were looking for history to use in our classes. We got a lot of pointers to documents our students can use in class to learn history and how to write it.
This is the second year of this particular Teaching American History grant, from the U.S. Department of Education to the Dallas Independent School District. It’s important that you know that, because Republicans in Congress propose to cut this program out. This is one of the few programs I think has value way beyond the dollars spent on it. TAH may become just one more victim of the conservatives’ War on Education.
I hope to post more about what we learned.
We toured the George H. W. Bush Presidential Library and Museum in College Station, Texas, the Lyndon Baines Johnson Presidential Library and Museum in Austin, the Audie Murphy and American Cotton Museum in Greenville, Texas, the William J. Clinton Presidential Library and Museum, and the Little Rock Central High School National Historic Site.
It was a rowdy group of teachers, of course, and we closed down every bookstore we found along the way. The bus driver hopes never again to hear a single verse of “99 Student Essays to Grade on the Desk.”
How’s your summer been so far?