A Heartfelt Thank-You to Those Who Have Served
November 13, 2023 | Blog | Reading Time 4:00 Minutes
Honoring Our Veterans
Courage. Honor. Patriotism, Dedication. Sacrifice. These words come to mind when thinking about the brave men and women who have defended our freedom by selflessly serving in the armed forces. While we are grateful to them every day of every year, we officially honor them annually on November 11th, which is recognized as Veterans Day.
It’s not Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day. It’s Veterans Day…no apostrophe. This is deliberate because It is a holiday not about one particular veteran (veteran’s) nor one specific group of veterans (veterans’). It’s an honor and recognition for all of the men and women who have defended our freedom by selflessly serving in the armed forces. Veterans Day honors all veterans who have ever served in war or peace. It’s an important distinction and a worthy honor.
There are other interesting, little-known facts about Veterans Day. The holiday was first called Armistice Day, commemorating the end of WWI. The fighting actually ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. One year later, in 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th to be Armistice Day.
In 1954, after WWII and the Korean War, the name was changed from Armistice Day to Veterans Day to honor all vets of all wars. The date designated changed several times, but in 1975, it became November 11th permanently.
More than 41 million Americans have served in the U.S. Armed Forces throughout our nation’s history. This proud tradition began with the formation of the Continental Army during the American Revolution, an era brought to dramatic life by the megahit musical “Hamilton.” More than 16 million Americans served during WWII alone
According to a report released by the U.S. Census Bureau, approximately 18 million Americans were veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces in 2018. These veterans range in age from 18 to over 100 years old, with the median age being 65 years old. WWII veterans are the oldest still with us today, with a median age of about 95. Approximately 1.4 million men and women are on active duty today.
Here are a few ways to demonstrate appreciation of our veterans.
- Listen to a veteran’s story. If you do not know a veteran personally, check out the Library of Congress’s Veterans History Project. This site features interviews and memoirs, war correspondence, photographs, scrapbooks, and more.
- Write a letter, a postcard or an e-card to a veteran thanking them for their service.
- Donate to one of the many amazing organizations that serve veterans, such as the Wounded Warrior Project or USO Operation Phone Home.
- Many businesses offer discounts to veterans as a way to show their thanks and appreciation.
Pay a visit to one of the veterans memorials in the area to show respect and remember the names of those who served. These include:
- Vietnam War Memorial Wilmington commemorates the residents of Wilmington who were killed or missing in the Vietnam War.
- Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemetery in Bear, Delaware, for veterans of the Armed Forces, their spouses and dependent children may be interred at the Delaware Veterans Memorial Cemeteries.
- Veterans Memorial Park in New Castle is a tribute to trips from Delaware and New Jersey who made the ultimate sacrifice to our country. It is one of 68 sites recognized by the National Veterans Day Committee to officially host Memorial and Veterans Day services. The centerpiece of the park is a six-sided Wall of Remembrance with almost 15,000 names of troops who died during WWII and the Korean War. There are a total of seven monuments, the newest of which is for Gold Star Families.
We will be hosting some recognition events for our residents over the next several days. At Shipley Living, we will hold a Veterans Day Luncheon.
Whether asking a veteran to share their story, writing a postcard, or just saying a heartfelt thank you, we hope everyone will take time this Veterans Day to show their appreciation for those who have served our country. We must never forget that we are the land of the free because of the brave.