Salute to Veterans
Each year when Veterans Day approaches on the calendar, I take a moment to think about the millions of Americans who have served in the military. November 11 is an important day to show respect and recognize the sacrifices made by so many veterans living or dead who served this country honorably during war or peacetime.
Veterans Day has always held a special meaning for me. I grew up in a military family, and we celebrated the day each year.
My father “Diamond Dave” Hartzler would meet with other WWII vets at the American Legion to participate in parades and ceremonies. All the vets told stories of honor and duty. Those tales were a powerful way for me to learn about this great generation of men and women who answered the call. I never questioned that I would also enlist when I grew older.
I also think of my great uncle Raul Cornelius each November 11. He served on the Western Front in France in 1917-1918 during World War I. At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month of the year, WWI hostilities ended. The day became known as Armistice Day. It was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 and became a federal holiday.
Today, November 11 has even more significance for me. It’s an important time to think about the 5 million Americans who served in the War On Terror over the last 20 years. Thousands of them have suffered the effects of post-traumatic stress disorder, although many remain undiagnosed. Others live with chronic conditions of exposure diseases from burn pits and weapons exposure.
These veterans have answered the call and need our support more than ever. Take time to learn how to help disabled veterans get the care they need. The American Legion also offers ways to honor the service of those who have worn a military uniform.
Join me on November 11 at 2:11 p.m. EST as we observe 2 minutes of silence to remember and thank all those who have served the greatest country in the world.