Remember to thank veterans for keeping America free
By Brig Gen Paul Capasso, 81st Training Wing Commander
/ Published November 09, 2006
Keesler Air Force Base, Miss. -- Veterans Day -- a time for reflection, a day for honoring and remembering. Our great nation was born on the ideals of life, liberty and justice. Throughout our history, men and women from towns across every state have answered the call to protect the basic principles that have made this country great.
It's because of these everyday heroes that we celebrate Veterans Day.
President John Kennedy once said, "A nation reveals itself not only by the men it
produces, but also by the men it honors, the men it remembers."
This weekend, we honor those men and women whose personal sacrifices have preserved our nation through both the best and the toughest of times. They embody everything that has made this country great.
Veterans Day was first observed as Armistice Day in 1919 to commemorate the
end of World War I. Thirty-five years later, in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower issued a proclamation in which Nov. 11 was officially designated as a national holiday to honor all veterans.
Our country has a long history of honoring veterans, and today we find our nation has a
new generation of veterans. This day is for them as much as it is for those who served
during all other times in our country's rich history.
Like the challenges that faced our veterans in the past, today's global war on terrorism is a struggle for freedom and liberty, and the words Thomas Paine wrote during the
Revolutionary War -- "These are the times that try men's souls" -- are as relevant today
as they were more than 200 years ago.
Saturday, we salute our veterans for their unwavering patriotism, courage and belief in
the power of freedom. Thank you for your service to our country and for keeping