Remembering those who served on Veterans Day
November 09, 2011 | 07:28 AMEach year, on Nov. 11, we honor those who have donned the uniform and have served in battle throughout our history.
Veterans Day is Friday and it is my hope everyone takes a moment to remember the sacrifices so many have given to protect the United States as well as help others in countries all over the globe become free themselves as we are.
Normally, this is a day that tends to be forgotten by many. It is listed on calendars, but many don't think about it much past that.
This year, on 11/11/11 at 11 a.m., I hope that's different.
In this week's Regional News, we have tried to honor a few of our veterans and as always, our reporters will be attending Veterans Day activities at the local schools to capture the scenes that honor our military friends and neighbors.
Each year, the schools do a great job organizing and holding these events, as does the American Legion posts. However, these activities tend to be only attended by the military members and their families. In a way that is sad to me.
Veterans Day is in honor of all those, living and dead, who served with the United States armed forces. It honors all those who have served in times of peace as well as during war.
It is different than Memorial Day, which mainly honors those who have died during wartime.
Veterans Day originally was called Armistice Day, because it commemorated the end of World War I on Nov. 11, 1918, when the fighting stopped at 11 a.m., the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
In 1919, on the first anniversary of the World War I truce, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation which honored the heroism of those who died. At the time, businesses stopped for two minutes, starting at 11 a.m. and it became customary to observe two minutes of silence.
Many states made Armistice Day a holiday in the 1920s and 1930s, but in 1938, Congress declared it a federal holiday.
In 1954, the name of the holiday changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor those who had served in World War II and the Korean War.
These are people who have raised their right hand and made an oath to defend this country in times of war and during peace.
They put their lives on the line so others in the country don't have to. These soldiers and sailors travel throughout the world defending our values of freedom and democracy in countries that don't know what that means.
They left their families, friends and normal lives when they were called to duty. They did this knowing that they might have to give their lives during their duty.
But they still went bravely and proudly wherever they were needed in the world.
Just like last year and the past couple years, Veterans Day should mean more in time of war, regardless of what you think about the wars.
Veterans Day is a perfect opportunity to spend a little time thinking of those now serving and those who have served our country.
Each day we are losing our World War II veterans and those who served in Korea and Vietnam are not far behind.
Along with the older veterans who served, it also would be a good time to spend a few moments thinking about the efforts being made by current soldiers and sailors and the sacrifices they are making right now.
All it takes is a moment to think of them and show them respect. After all, they performed these duties so other Americans don't have to.
For all their efforts, veterans deserve to be honored and always remembered for their commitment and patriotism.
To those of you who served, thank you.
Lisa Seiser, Editor,
Former U.S. Army Reservist,
961st Engineering Battalion, Milwaukee