It was at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month 100 years ago in 1918 that World War I, “the war to end all wars,” ended. It is with honor that we as a nation stand together every year on Nov. 11 to recognize the women and men who fought for freedom and for what they believe in – you and me.
President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day and in his 1919 speech he stated, “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…”
Our veterans have given us a gift that will keep on giving each day as we as a nation are provided the opportunity to grow and flourish in all aspects of life. To many around the world, we are the guiding light of hope. So, I ask you, why is it that we celebrate our veterans just one day a year?
Challenge yourself to acknowledge the sacrifices of our armed forces not only on the 100th anniversary of WWI but every day in November. Let’s make November Veterans Appreciation Month! Here at the White River Junction VA Medical Center and at all community based outpatient clinics throughout Vermont and New Hampshire, we treat every day as if it were Veterans Day because that is what our veterans have earned and deserve. Take the time to thank a veteran.
Please join us Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018 at 1 p.m. for our annual Veterans Day Ceremony in the Yasinski Research and Conference Center (building 44) on our White River Junction campus. The ceremony will start at the Veteran Memorial under the National Ensign with the laying of the wreath before proceeding inside.
I know that we are all grateful for those who laid their lives on the line for us, so let’s all tell them “thank you.”
Dr. Brett Rusch
Acting White River Junction VA Medical Center director