I want to take this opportunity to salute all the men and women who have bravely served our country. For those veterans we know personally – and for all those we haven’t had the privilege of meeting, today, on Veteran’s Day, let us all take a moment to honor them.
Veterans Day began as “Armistice Day” on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). It became a national holiday in 1938, and in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name to Veterans Day as a way to honor the men and women who served in all American wars.
This important holiday is about service and gratitude. It is about pride and patriotism. It is also about building the legacy of our country, recognizing the history of all those who have served with valor. They have paved a path of hope and strength for tomorrow.
There are more than 18 million military veterans in the United States – 2 million of them women. There also are many veterans among us – friends, neighbors, family members, patients and colleagues. Some of us have loved ones currently serving our country and standing up for the freedoms we all embrace. Today we remain on station in more than 150 countries, deployed to deliver on our historic mission of freedom and protection for those in need.
Men and women of our military have protected the values and liberties that built our great nation. And they returned contributing to society far beyond their active duty. They serve our nation in so many roles, including teachers, scientists, doctors, nurses, other business professionals and entrepreneurs – and they are some of the most active volunteers in organizations across the country.
As you think about this day and what it means, please pause to extend your heartfelt appreciation to the heroes of our country. We are a community built on gratitude. We salute them all.