Happy Veterans Day
By Col. Jay Raymond , 21st Space Wing commander
/ Published November 12, 2008
PETERSON AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
"Honoring all who served", that is the theme of this year's Veterans Day.
On Nov. 11, 1918, an armistice was signed between the Allied nations and Germany, ending World War I hostilities. This day is often referred as the end of "the war to end all wars." This armistice went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson officially commemorated Nov. 11 as "Armistice Day", stating, "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice ..."
In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation, which established the Veterans Day National Committee, the national-level coordinating agency for planning observances on this special day, changing the name officially to "Veterans Day".
After many years and several changes to the date, President Gerald Ford in 1975 signed into law that Veterans Day to be Nov. 11, beginning in 1978. From that day on, Veterans Day will be celebrated on Nov. 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. This preserves not only the historical significance of the date, it focuses our attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day itself: to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, selflessness, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the defense and common good of the United States. This day honors all Veterans, both living and dead. It is a day of appreciation for those who served in our armed forces and to give thanks for their sacrifices.
As of Nov. 3, Team Pete had 247 troops deployed around the world. Additionally, we have many more who are "deployed in place" at remote areas around the globe. These heroes are serving our country, away from their families and loved ones, preserving democracy and freedom. If you are not deployed, your service and sacrifice is still recognized and greatly appreciated. Your diligence and vigilance have kept our country and its citizens safe and your sacrifice has not gone unnoticed.
In speaking of sacrifice, I am deeply saddened to report that this past Sunday, Team Pete lost one of our valued members. Master Sgt. Jonathan Lee Taylor died Nov. 9, at 3:15 p.m. at Memorial Hospital from a prolonged cancer illness. Originally from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Sergeant Taylor had over twenty years of honorable service to the United States Air Force. He was a communications-computer systems operator assigned to the 721st Communications Squadron, Cheyenne Mountain. Prior to that assignment, he held several positions from information assurance technician, unit deployment manager, to quality assurance evaluator. He also served as the squadron executive NCO in the last year. He was born in Philadelphia, PA. He is survived by his wife Kathleen, and children: Whitney, Madison, Kyle, Jonathan Jr., and Ethan. Our hearts go out to his family in this sad time, please keep them in your thoughts and prayers.
I want you all to take a moment and reflect on what Veterans Day means to you. Think about our core value: Integrity, Service, Excellence. Spend time with your family and friends and know how proud I am to serve with you.