Veterans should be honored every day

Published 9:17 pm Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In cities and towns, both large and small, Wednesday marked a day for Americans everywhere to offer a day of thanks to the men and women who have sacrificed to keep our country free.

During the annual Veterans Day events, millions took time to remember those who have served in the Armed Forces to preserve our way of life and ensure the ideals this country was founded upon continue from generation to generation.

More so than our elected officials, the volunteer spirit of today’s military and selflessness of veterans of generations past has continued our country’s strength and prominence from the first strike of a pen to the Declaration of Independence to today.

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Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on Nov. 11, 1918. In legislation passed in 1938, Nov. 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’” As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.

In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress — at the urging of the veterans service organizations — amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, Nov. 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

But while this day is special and is well deserved, our prayers and appreciation for our veterans should continue every day and their service be honored at every opportunity.

Today’s generation know understands the horrors of war and the sacrifice called for to ensure American ideals of freedom — whether for ourselves or for others in the world.

Whereas Wednesday marked Veterans Day, today and every day forward should carry with it the same focus of honoring or American heroes.