“With solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory.”
President Woodrow Wilson used those words on Nov. 11, 1919, to explain the purpose of this country’s first Veterans Day, then called Armistice Day. Created originally to commemorate the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, Veterans Day no longer focuses attention just on World War I, but since 1954 has broadened its scope to commemorate not just the deaths, but the service of all our veterans in all our wars, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan.
Through all of these conflicts, the men and women of the Armed Forces have continued to serve selflessly, to defend what we and they as Americans have always valued so highly—our country, our values, and our freedom.
As a former search-and-rescue specialist with the U.S. Coast Guard, I am proud to have been able to play a small part in this tradition of service. I was fortunate to have returned home to my family safe and sound. That was not true for many others. My service brought home to me just how much I owe to all those who have given their lives, who have been wounded or captured, who have suffered to keep us all free.
On this Nov. 11, 2011, I sent my sincerest appreciation to all of our veterans who have stood firm and valiantly to keep us safe through the life of our country. And I also continue to send my appreciation out to those who are still serving. Many things have changed since 1919, but our solemn pride remains.
“Freedom is not Free.”
Dave Richmond, Batavia
Blackberry Township Supervisor
Candidate, State Senate, District 25