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Veterans Day Reflections

Veterans Day originally began as Armistice Day in 1919 when President Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day. The original idea was to suspend business operations for a two minute period at 11:00 AM and have the rest of the day marked by parades and public meetings. In 1954, President Eisenhower signed legislation changing the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. The day vacillated between the fourth Monday in October and November 11th until 1978. With its WWI roots, the holiday has evolved to encompass the sacrifices and service of millions of Americans that wore the uniform fighting for this great country.

After the September 11th attacks, the citizens of our nation once again rallied around our troops in waves not seen since World War II. The reinvigorated respect for our men and women in uniform is an awesome thing to witness as are the generous acts of gratitude toward our veterans. Personally seeing grassroots efforts like the Honor Flight Network, the Iraq Afghanistan Veterans Association, VetTix, the Wounded Warrior Project and The Fisher House grow alongside The American Legion, the Disabled American Veterans Association, AMVETS and the Veterans of Foreign Wars have been invaluable in communicating the value, contributions and character of our veterans. I want to personally thank all of the Veterans Services Organizations and charities serving veterans.

If I were sum up what Veterans Day means to me and my team at MVDC, it is the circle of gratitude. The values instilled in our troops around selfless service and sacrifice is being fully recognized by our citizens and it is becoming infectious in ways that we could never imagine. This year, more than 20,000 businesses are generously thanking our veterans and active duty service members with complimentary gifts on Veterans Day. We didn’t ask for these gifts, by the way. It’s just happening. More importantly, the circle of gratitude is attracting a new generation of citizens to answer the call of duty. In fact, an annual Gallup Poll revealed that during the decade of the 2000s, over three-quarters of Americans say they have great confidence in our troops and it is the most respected institution in our federal government. Respect has translated to other uniformed services as well as there is renewed appreciation for our nation’s police force, firefighters, Homeland Security agents and early responders.

The circle of gratitude is precisely why I believe that our country’s best days are ahead of it, not behind it. Americans are volunteering in record numbers publicly showing their respect and gratitude toward those that choose to serve it. The circle of gratitude is powerful and I am honored to have had the opportunity to serve this great country.