By: Maj. Gen. John B. Richardson IV, commanding general, 1st Cavalry Division
Veterans Day is a day of reflection and appreciation for the patriotism, service, and sacrifice of all who have served in the U.S. Military. We celebrate Veterans Day on the anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. It was on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918, the battlefield of Europe fell silent after more than four years of fight
ing. The day became known as Armistice Day and celebrated around the world by nations that participated in World War I as a day of remembrance for those who fought in that devasting war.
In 1954, the US Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day to remember not only the Veterans of World War I, but to remember all Veterans who have served the Nation in military service.
This Veterans Day, 1st Cavalry Division Troopers are participating in six different events across Texas, Washington D.C., and London, to honor our Veterans. From Color Guards, to our Honor Guard, to the 1st Cavalry Division Band, and Horse Cavalry Detachment, Soldiers representing the U.S. Army’s premier armored division, take this time to honor our Nation’s Veterans.
But while we take time to reflect and appreciate our Veterans every November 11th, we must also take this time to make sure they are never forgotten and remembered and supported the other 364 days of the year. Prospective Soldiers observe how we take care of our Veterans as they consider serving themselves. Our ability to have an all-volunteer Army of the future depends on our support of our Veterans today.
Approximately 75,000 Soldiers transition out of the Active Army annually and become Veterans. The U.S. now has the largest population of young Veterans since the Vietnam War. We owe it to these men and women to make sure they transition from their active-duty careers with the skills and experience to find meaningful employment outside the Army and demonstrate to their communities the value of serving in the Army.
As a nation, and as an Army, we must commit to taking care of Veterans. Seventy-seven years and two months ago, as World War II came to a close, the First Team led the Allied Occupational Army into Tokyo. In the decade following that great conflict, the GI Bill enabled 7.8 million WWII Veterans to participate in education and training programs. This is one example of how our Nation showed appreciation for those who served to defend it.
Today, the Army’s Soldier for Life Program works in communities across the country to create opportunities for Veterans and Families and encourages Veterans to remain connected to their Army.
Once you earn the title Soldier, you are a Soldier for Life. The Army is committed to the success of our Soldiers and their Families from pre-enlistment to post-separation, and to supporting our Veterans by connecting them to opportunities for employment and education.
Today, we remember our Veterans, we thank them for their service, and pay tribute to their sacrifices.
Our Nation’s Veterans throughout our history kept us free, protected and defended our Constitution and our way of life.
Today we say Thank You.