Veterans Day Remembrance

PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. -- Today there are about 23 million military veterans in the United States. Of those, nine million are older than 65; two million younger than 35; two million are women. Veterans come from all walks of life. They are parents, grandparents and children. They are your next door neighbor, your coworker, elected official or grocery store clerk.

The first Veterans Day was celebrated as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919 to commemorate the end of World War I. The name of the holiday was officially changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all veterans who served our Nation both in times of war and times of peace.

It is in light of the great sacrifices, efforts and resilience displayed by U.S. military veterans that Nov. 11 is set aside to honor each of them. Each veteran is due respect and recognition for their service. Veterans are worthy of thanks from every U.S. citizen because without their commitment and dedication the world would be a very different place than it is today.

It is a privilege for today's service member to stand shoulder to shoulder with the veteran who has gone before, comrades in arms enjoying a bond that only someone who served can comprehend. A veteran may not be an active member of the armed forces any longer, but his or her part in carrying out the defense of the Nation and preservation of its freedom should not be forgotten, not taken for granted.

On Veterans Day there will be parades, ceremonies and special events to call into remembrance the service of the millions of men and women who set self aside and served when their country called upon them. One of the most powerful ways to honor someone is to recognize their contribution. On this Veterans Day pay tribute to those amazing men and women who stood in the gap for each of us who call the United States home. Also remember our colleagues and friends who are currently deployed carrying the same weight of guarding freedom around the world as those before us so proudly did. Thank you for what each of you do every day to carry on this tradition of service.