November 11th, 2016 by asjstaff

PHOTOS COURTESY OF DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE, UNLESS OTHERWISE NOTED

(second from the right) Marine Sgt. Alexander Munoz, 3rd Battalion, 1st Marines, lines up with the 5th Marines, as the platoon sergeant gives them orders to clear a building in the second push during Operation Phantom Fury in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004 (Courtesy Photo)

A platoon sergeant orders Marines to clear a building in Fallujah, Iraq, in 2004. 

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These airmen are all smiles after returning from Europe in 1945. (NATIONAL ARCHIVES) 

Parris Island recruits continue to train on Marine Corps Logistics Base Albany

Marine Corps recruits prepare for a martial arts training session. 

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Newly freed prisoners of war celebrate as their C-141A aircraft lifts off from Hanoi, North Vietnam, on Feb. 12, 1973. 

Bernice Haydu, a Women's Airforce Service Pilot, or WASP, during World War II, stands next to an AT-6  Texan at Page Field near Fort Myer in Florida, Feb. 20. The WASPs flew the AT-6s during their phases of training at Avenger Field in Sweetwater, Texas. (Department of Defense photo by Navy MC2 Glenn Slaughter)

Bernice Haydu, a member of the Women Airforce Service Pilots during World War II, stands next to an AT-6 Texan. 

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World War II-era P-51 Mustangs fly in formation. 

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Army Major Zach Rolf poses for a photograph with his father and Vietnam War veteran, Lynn Rolf.

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Marines and sailors serving in Iraq hold up Thanksgiving Day cards made by a kindergarten class from Island Creek Elementary School in Alexandria, Va., in 2007.

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Navy Petty Officer 2nd Class William Holland drives an inflatable boat in the Caribbean Sea as part of relief efforts following Hurricane Matthew last month.

National Pearl Harbor Remembrance Day 71st Anniversary

Edgar Harrison and Delton Walling, Pearl Harbor survivors, applaud during a Dec. 7, 2012, remembrance ceremony at the World War II Valor in the Pacific National Monument in Honolulu.

SD attends start of the Rolling Thunder demonstration ride

Rolling Thunder participants gather on May 29, 2016. The annual ride brings together veterans and others seeking to pay respects to those who have served.

Interior shot of the cockpit area of Commemorative Air Force World War II B-29 Bomber aircraft “Fifi” at the Manassas Regional Airport during “Arsenal of Democracy” media day on May 7th, 2015.  B-24, B-17, and B-29 aircraft from World War II participating in the Washington D.C. flyover to celebrate the 70th anniversary of V.E. day, flyover operate from the Manassas Airport. The press were invited to photograph the practice activities and interview American WWII heroes.  (Department of Defense Photo by Marvin Lynchard)

A look through the cockpit of a World War II B-29 bomber sitting on display. 

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Captain Louis Zamperini (left) makes a broadcast to the United States after spending 28 months in a Japanese prison camp. (NATIONAL ARCHIVES)


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November 6th, 2015 by Danielle Breteau

The History Of Veterans Day

The History Of Veterans Day, as we know it today, is celebrated each year on November 11 in honor of all American veterans for their service to the nation. It is one of only four federal holidays that always fall on a specific numerical date and, as such, it’s in the very good company of Independence Day, Christmas and New Year’s Day. Veterans Day has got some serious juice, and it should.

The men and women past and present who have worn the uniform of our armed services honorably deserve recognition for it. Consider that unlike a civilian job, a person who joins the military can’t quit if the going gets rough. Our servicemen and -women may be called upon to give their lives doing their job. Regardless of their military occupational specialties, they are all part of a human organization whose mission it is to protect the American people.

PHOTO NYTimes-Page1-11-11-1918

The significance of the date goes back 97 years. When I was young, I recall Veterans Day being widely referred to as Armistice Day. In fact, the name of the holiday was actually changed in 1954 when Dwight Eisenhower was president. Now that I am old too, I understand how after a certain age you just lose interest in renaming things and stick with what you are familiar with.

The one and only armistice that every American born before 1960 knew was declared on November 11, 1918, ending what we now call World War I. Back then, they just called it the Great War.

In four years and four months of hostilities, a staggering and unprecedented nine million combatants and six and a half million civilians died, virtually eliminating a generation of European men. America came to the fight late but with vigor and tipped the scales against Germany and her allies. In 19 months of war, approximately 4.7 million Americans put on a uniform and around 120,000 were killed. The census for the period lists the total American population as slightly over 103 million.

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American soldiers of the 64th Regiment, part of the 7th Division, celebrate the news of World War I’s Armistice.

 

The Great War produced more American veterans faster than any other period with the exception of World War II. On the first anniversary of the armistice, President Woodrow Wilson called for November 11th to become a day of national remembrance for “the heroism of those who died in the country’s service” during the Great War. By 1926, after 27 of the 48 states had made November 11th a legal holiday, Congress called for the president to commemorate it nationally every year with a proclamation. In 1938 it was made a federal holiday and officially named Armistice Day.

Though Armistice Day was originally about honoring World War I veterans, it evolved into a celebration of all veterans, including those from the Civil War, American-Indian Wars, Spanish-American War and the Philippine Insurrection. A major shift took place after 1945 when about 16 million more veterans emerged from World War II and outnumbered the Great War vets three to one. The Korean War added another 5.7 million in 1954. In that year Armistice Day was officially changed to Veterans Day to formally acknowledge its de facto transition over the span of quarter century.

So there you have it. ASJ

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