Viewpoint: In honor of veterans on Veterans Day 2010
On this Veterans Day, we remember that our country is at war and somewhere in the world our brave men and women are in harm's way on the front lines.
Unfortunately, it has always been so for each generation. We still have among us veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam and Desert Storm. Because of them, and now because of our soldiers, Marines, airmen and seamen in Iraq, Afghanistan and elsewhere around the world, we have the security we so often take for granted.
But not today. Since 1918, we have honored our veterans on November 11. This is the day 92 years ago that World War I ended. Since then, our country has observed Armistice Day. In 1954, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all veterans. Throughout this weekend, I encourage each of you to thank a veteran, recognize them, honor them through appropriate ceremonies and pray for their well being. Let us not forget our veterans who are in health care facilities, care centers and those that are homeless. Let us visit them and say thank you.
On November 10, we also celebrated the 235th anniversary of the creation of the U.S. Marine Corps, known in 1775 as the Continental Marines. During the American Revolution, a committee of the Continental Congress called for two battalions to be able to fight for independence at sea and on shore, and the Marines were founded. This year, we were able to celebrate this anniversary of the Marine Corps by dedicating the Navajo Code Talkers Highway at Yah Ta Hay, N.M.
Many of our Navajo men and women have served our country and defended our Navajo way of life. They left their hogans, their families, their relatives and their homeland to join U.S. Armed Forces. They honorably served stateside and on foreign soil to ensure that we continue to live Free - to exercise our freedom of religion, freedom of speech, and freedom to go about our daily lives knowing that we are protected.
We owe these brave and courageous warriors a debt of gratitude that we can never fully repay.
To our veterans, I wish you a Happy Veterans Day. Be proud of who you are and for your service, sacrifices and accomplishments. We thank you for protecting our freedom that you have won by putting your lives on the line. This Veterans Day, let people know who you are and what you did for our freedom.