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All around the United States today, celebrations will take place honoring those who have served our country in the armed forces. “Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World Wars I and II on or near November 11th: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain has Remembrance Sunday (the second Sunday of November). In Europe, Britain and the Commonwealth countries it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.” (from the HIstory Channel) Some recognitions will be solemn, memorializing brave soldiers lost in battle, and others will be celebratory. Either way, today’s the day to say “Thank You” to our veterans and remember those who have gone before us.
What do Michele Obama and Dr. JIll Biden have to say about their children joining the armed forces?
*Source: 2010 American Community Survey, Department of Defense, Department of Veterans Affairs, as found on the Christian Science Moniter
*1. Vietnam War
Vietnam War(1964-75): Many of the 8.8 million who served in uniform were draftees; 7.6 million are alive today.
*2. Korean War
Korean War(1950-53): Often called “the forgotten war,” it finally had a memorial dedicated to it in Washington in 1995. Of the 5.7 million Americans who served, 2.7 million survive.
*3. Operation Desert Shield/Storm
Operation Desert Shield/Desert Storm(1990-91): America’s first encounter with Iraq’s Saddam Hussein involved 2.3 million military personnel, of whom 2.2 million are still present.
*4. World War II
World War II(1941-45): America’s most massive mobilization involved 16 million men and women, of whom 2.1 million are still alive.
“American effort during World War II (1941-1945) saw the greatest mobilization of the U.S. Army, Navy, Marines and Air Force in the nation’s history (more than 16 million people); some 5.7 million more served in the Korean War (1950 to 1953). In 1954, after lobbying efforts by veterans’ service organizations, the 83rd U.S. Congress amended the 1938 act that had made Armistice Day a holiday, striking the word “Armistice” in favor of “Veterans.” President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the legislation on June 1, 1954. From then on, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.”- History Channel
*5. Global War on Terror
Global War on Terror(2001- ): Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan have involved 1.4 million military personnel.
And what will President Obama being doing on this commemorative holiday? The Huffington News reports:
“The president is hosting a veterans breakfast Friday at the White House, then laying a wreath at the Tomb of the Unknowns before speaking at a Veterans Day ceremony at Arlington National Cemetery. Soon after, Obama flies to California to take part in the first-ever Carrier Classic, basketball game between Michigan State and No. 1 North Carolina aboard the USS Carl Vinson.
The Veterans Day observances come a day after the Senate approved Obama’s call for a tax credit for those who hire jobless veterans. In a written statement, he said the vote is a fitting way to help honor those who’ve served their country.”