Friday, November 11

Honoring Veterans: Veterans Day

Every year, the United States honors all of the men and women who have served in the Armed Forces. And every year, me and my team have had the honor of participating in unique and memorable ways.

This year will be a bit different, more personal. But the importance of the day is no less significant on a larger scale. And in thinking of what to share to convey the point, I came across a letter written by Sergeant Joseph Morrissey in 1969.

His words, I think, best convey the sentiment of the average Joe or Jane who serves at home or far away countries, in peace and war. It reminds me, and I hope you too, that in service and sacrifice, we are often compelled to do what is best for our country even when what needs to be done runs opposite of our beliefs.

Hello Brother, 
How are you treating life these days? Have you gotten a grip on those Merrimack students yet?

This place is sort of getting to me. I've been seeing too many guys get messed up, and I still can't understand it. It's not that I can't understand this war. It's just that I can't understand war period. 

If you do not get to go to that big peace demonstration in October, I hope you do protest against the war or sing for peace — I would. I just can't believe half the shit I've seen over here so far. 

Do you know if there's anything wrong at home? I haven't heard from anyone in about two weeks, and normally I get 10 letters a week. you mentioned in your letters that you haven't heard from them for a while either. I couldn't take sitting over in this place if I thought there was anything wrong at home.

Well, brother, I hope you can get to your students and start them thinking about life. Have you tried any marijuana lectures lately? I know they dig that current stuff.

I gotta go now. Stay loose, Paul, and sing a simple song of freedom and I'll be seeing you come summer.

Joe, October 1969

The most recognized Veterans Day national ceremony is held each year on Nov. 11 at Arlington National Cemetery. This ceremony commences at 11 a.m. with a wreath laying at the Tomb of the Unknowns. It then continues in the Memorial Amphitheater with a parse of colors presented by veterans' organizations and remarks from dignitaries.

In addition to the Veterans Day services held at Arlington, there are several sites that host regional services. These services may be found on a page maintained by the United States Department of Veterans Affairs. For states that do not have a regional event listed, please check with your local government.

For the rest of the world, many countries will celebrate Nov. 11 as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, a date that commemorates the armistice that ended World War I. Good night and good luck.
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