Veterans Day has solemn meaning for AEDC

ARNOLD AIR FORCE BASE, Tenn. -- In just a few days, we will join together as a nation, and celebrate the holiday specifically crafted to honor those who have made the freedoms and benefits of this country possible.

On Nov. 11, we will celebrate Veterans Day.

Like so many federal holidays, the history and establishment of this special day is not well known, but the significance of the day cannot be overstated. Veterans Day has it's roots in the ending of World War I and the signing of the Treaty of Versailles.

President Wilson declared Nov. 11, 1919 as "Armistice Day," commemorating the day with the intent "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 the councils of the nations..."

Unfortunately, the "War to end all wars" was followed by numerous other conflicts, and shortly following the Korean war, Congress amended the original law to re-name the day "Veterans Day."

This day has a special and solemn meaning for AEDC.

Not only does our work directly impact the warfighters of today, we are honored to work and live alongside a fantastic population of veterans on the base and in our community.

We see them every day, and this is THEIR day.

For those who volunteered and participated in our recent Veterans Day picnic, you know just how special these people are.

They made the sacrifices on our behalf, and our event was just one small installment on the huge debt of gratitude we owe this amazing group. We're also going to participate in another event hosted at the Franklin County High School, now known as "Let Freedom Ring." On Sunday, Veterans and those currently serving will gather to recognize and honor all that serve, or have served this great nation.

I couldn't be prouder of AEDC's support and role in these events, and I can't thank all of you enough for your continued participation.

Our Arnold Community Council, so generous in their support of our mission, makes a special point to enable our Veterans Day picnic. We are indeed fortunate to have the support of their organization, as well as the support of our local Chambers of Commerce and other civil organizations.

A few weeks ago I attended a Tullahoma High School Football game, dedicated to our Veterans.

It was a touching moment when the host asked all the veterans in the crowd to come down to the field and "be recognized." Some came with canes, others with wheelchairs. Many were missing limbs, or wore eye patches.

These are the heroes we honor on Nov. 11.

So on this day, their day, I ask only one thing. Find a Veteran, and thank them. That simple act will make a huge impact on their lives. And before you get done shaking their hand, you'll feel that same impact on yours.

Our Veterans were there for us.

It's our turn to show them we will never forget what they have done for us.