• Veterans Day — a day for recognition

  • Holiday Message

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  • Col. Marne L. Sutten | Garrison Commander
    Veterans Day is a day of remembrance and a day to recognize the great accomplishments by our veterans who have stood in harm’s way to protect the freedoms we enjoy. They have been separated from their loved ones, putting aside their own needs, holding true to the sacred bond they have with the American people to protect our nation.
    Originally referred to as Armistice Day, Veterans Day represents the cessation of hostilities in World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. But today, this holiday represents even more. In 1954 and evermore, this day recognizes all veterans who continue to serve with patriotism and those who died in service to our country.
    It was President Calvin Coolidge, on this day in 1926 during the Kansas City Liberty Memorial Armistice Day Address, who stated the event was not about war and victory but rather the results of war and victory which are embodied in peace and liberty. This statement remains true today.
    Our present day all-volunteer Army represents less than 1 percent of Americans. They have shouldered the responsibility of conflict for more than a decade. The family members of these veterans also share this burden, displaying incredible amounts of resiliency through uncertain times. We can never repay the debt we owe our veterans and to the military families who have lost loved ones who believed in the idea of freedom for themselves, for their families and for our nation. Veterans truly are America’s heroes.
    While celebrating this day of patriotism, be proud of all our veterans. Thank them for their service, consider all the ways you can assist veteran initiatives and programs, and reflect on the sacrifices they and their families endured by placing our nation’s needs above their own.
    This holiday is also a time that indicates an official change of season. Fewer daylight hours can put us at risk for accomplishing otherwise normal tasks. The additional time off means some families may travel long distances. The increased travel and changing weather conditions require our increased vigilance to ensure the safety of our soldiers, civilians and families. All of us must make a conscious effort to ensure this period is free of injuries and unnecessary tragedies.
    I ask leaders to inform soldiers and civilians of the dangers during this time period and remind them to maintain their safety focus both on and off duty. Accident prevention is both a command and an individual responsibility.
    Every soldier, family member and civilian is precious and irreplaceable. With your support and personal involvement, we can be assured of a safe holiday weekend.
    I wish all of you a safe and enjoyable Veterans Day!
    The nation’s oldest regional Veterans Day observance will conduct its 96th annual parade starting at 10:30 a.m. Nov. 11 in downtown Leavenworth. The parade will stop at 11 a.m. for the playing of “Taps” with buglers stationed throughout the parade route. This will be followed by an award and enlistment ceremony in front of the reviewing stand at 7th and Delaware streets.
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