myFiveBest Things To Remember On Veteran’s Day

Veteran's DayVeteran’s Day is a holiday put aside for all of us to remember the soldiers who have given everything for our country.  It is primarily celebrated, to some extent, in the Allied countries that participated in World War One.  In the United States, while the official day is November 11th, it is usually recognized on the Monday closest to that date.  At eleven o’ clock in the morning on that day, a few minutes of silence should be observed to commemorate the service men and women who have helped to make our country free.  Thank the veterans that you meet, because we enjoy the freedoms that we have because of them.  Here are five reasons why we should remember Veteran’s Day.  Please, feel free to add more trivia or bits of information or go ahead and thank a veteran on here.

myfivebest -1Veteran’s Day
Veterans Day is always observed on Nov. 11 with speeches and parades across the U.S. The holiday began as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I.  In 1926, Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance.  In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name to Veterans Day in order to honor veterans of all American wars.

myfivebest - 2By The Numbers
As of 2009, there were approximately 21.9 million United States veterans still alive.  Of that number, 1.5 million are women.  About one-third of those veterans served in Vietnam.  The other two-thirds are made up mainly of Gulf War veterans and those that have served in Iraq and Afghanistan.  There are about 2.5 million World War Two veterans still alive, but approximately 1800 of them die – every day!

myfivebest - 3Our Nation At War
Veteran’s Day is now meant to represent soldiers from all wars, not just World War One.  How many wars has America fought in?  The answer might shock you.  The answer is 12.  We have been in several more conflicts, but technically, there have been only a dozen wars.  Included in this list are Korea and Vietnam which were not originally considered a war, but have been changed to that classification through public perception and time.  The wars America has fought in are as follows:

American Revolution (1775-1782)
War of 1812 (1812-1815)
Mexican-American War (1846-1848)
Civil War (1861-1865)
Spanish-American War (1898)
World War One (1917-1919)
World War Two (1941-1945)
The Korean War (1950-1953)
Vietnam War (1964-1975)
Desert Storm (1991)
Operation Enduring Freedom (2001-present)
Operation Iraqi Freedom (2003-2010)

myfivebest - 4Arlington National Cemetery
This is the most famous of the military cemeteries in the United States.  It is not the only soldier’s cemetery belonging to the United States.  There are 146 National Cemeteries in the United States.  Overseas, there are an additional 38 cemeteries for United States servicemen.  Arlington National Cemetery was established after the Civil War and was formerly the estate of the family of Confederate general Robert E. Lee’s wife Mary Anna (Custis) Lee, a great grand-daughter of Martha Washington. The cemetery is situated directly across the Potomac River from the Lincoln Memorial in Washington, D.C., and near The Pentagon.  There are approximately 300,000 grave sites on the property.  To be admitted for burial there today, one must be a veteran, obtained the Medal of Honor, the Purple Heart, or have been killed in action.  There is one exception, and that is number five on this list…

myfivebest - 5Going Back To The Original Intention
Veteran’s Day, formally Armistice Day,  was originally planned for World War One Veterans.  Of those men and women, which include over 4 million veterans – with over 53,000 deaths – only one person is still alive today who served.  His name is Frank Woodruff Buckles and he lives in West Virginia.  As of the writing of this post, he is 109 years old.  He lied about his age to get into the army at the age of 16.  To put the time period in perspective, when he shipped overseas, he sailed on the Carpathia, which had just rescued the survivors of the Titanic just a few months earlier.  Mr. Buckles was commissioned as an Army ambulance driver and achieved the rank of corporal.  During World War Two, he was working as a civilian shipper in the Philippines when he was captured by the Japanese and ordered to a work camp.  He spent three years there fighting for survival.  He is America’s oldest living veteran and the second oldest veteran from any army in the world.  He contributes his long life to keeping hope alive and “When you start to die – don’t!”  He was originally not allowed to be buried in Arlington National Cemetery, but ex-presidential candidate, Ross Perot, intervened and in 2008 he was granted permission to be interred there when his time comes.