As we celebrated Veterans Day this weekend, citizens across the land and right here in northwest Louisiana have banded together to remember and thank those who have served our country in the United States Armed Forces.
Veterans Day, November 11, has its roots in Armistice Day, which was instituted after World War I. The official holiday celebrated the end of the first global conflict on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, World War I officially ended, and Armistice Day was proclaimed.
With the coming of World War II, the United States changed the holiday to honor not only the forces from World War I, but also those who fought and those who died in World War II. The name was changed to Veterans Day by an act of Congress on May 24, 1954. In October of that year, President Dwight D. Eisenhower called on all citizens to observe the day by remembering the sacrifices of all those who fought so gallantly and through rededication to the task of promoting an enduring peace.
Here in our area, we are proud to be home to thousands of military veterans and retirees. These men and women are the heroes among us grandfathers, grandmothers, fathers, mothers, sons, daughters, members of our extended families, friends and neighbors. Veterans from all branches of the military can hold their heads high, knowing they answered the call to serve their country.
Our nation has always valued freedom not just for ourselves, but for everyone. Because Americans are willing to serve and sacrifice, this country remains the greatest force for good the world has ever known. Every day we live in freedom is a day made possible by Veterans and the blessings of God. The continued security of our country rests with future generations who will serve with honor and courage in our military and who will oppose emerging threats. Terrorist threats and acts of violence against America will not be tolerated, and we can thank those in uniform today as well as those who fought the good fight in the past for the freedom we enjoy.
America has needed these qualities in every generation, and every generation has stepped up to provide them. What they have given us, we can never fully repay, but we can always remember the Veterans of the United States of America.
Ask someone you meet this weekend if they served in the military. Greet a service member in uniform. Visit a cemetery to remember Veterans who’ve passed on. Spend some time with a Veteran at the Northwest Louisiana Veterans Home or Overton Brooks VA Medical Center. Simply tell them “Thank You” – it goes a long way.
May God bless our Veterans and their families, and may God continue to bless our great nation!
Bossier Sheriff Julian Whittington’s column appears periodically in the Bossier Press-Tribune.