Skip to comments.TAPS: Veterans Day is Done - A day to support these invaluable warriors (photo's and much more)
Posted on 11/11/2004 9:40:02 PM PST by Former Military Chick
1st Lt. John F. Cochran articulated the feelings of many in this letter to his parents while serving in Vietnam.
We have our troubles in American, but what little of the world I have seen doesn't hold a candle to what our country is. Now you may think this all written in a highly emotional state, and if fear is considered a highly emotional state, and it is, then you are right. But I have sat here this might and looked into the faces of eighteen young men -- the oldest is twenty-eight--and I have talked to them about their homes and families and wives and sweethearts.
Every one of these kids knows what he wants. There is not a "hero" in the group over here looking for glory or medals or any of that other garbage they are here because they felt they were needed that's all! I could feel the tension they were feeling as they asked what they should do -- or where the machine guns should be employed. I was scared -- not because of death, because I have accepted the Lord and I know where I spend eternity -- but because I also had to assume the responsibility for eighteen other lives--and that takes guts--lots of them.
It is morning, a a morning, the troops are in going around with a silly grin on their faces, mocking the fear that gripped them so hard last night. It's over now, and they know it. The front that each of us puts up to hide our inner feelings is once again in place.
I have put the word out that reinforcements are on the way, and we will be able to move back to camp when they arrived. Laughter, the thing that was so plainly missing last night, is heard now. Man is now back in his element. He can see what is going on around him. He would go into battle during daylight much the same as he would do any other job. But, at night, like last night, even if there are a hundred of you, you are alone--just the soldier and the dark and the unknown enemy.
On October 24, 1966, nine days after this letter was written, 1st Lt. John F. Cochrane died in combat. His letter has been most precious to his family. And it should be precious to all of us, because it informs us of the unique terrors and remarkable courage shown by those who served in a war that literally changed the rules of engagement. They served and sacrificed for all Americans. They courageously did their duty, answering the highest call.
The Highest Call, RESOLVE in the MIDST of SACRAFICE
Elm Hill Books
The Price of Freedom: Americans at War
Veteran's Memorial Wall
Military Service(with excerpts for a WW-II Veteran)
Listen to TAPS
(Note: there are no "official" words to Taps below are the most popular.)
WW-II - In Honor of Those Who Served
Vietnam Picture Tour
MIA/POW Bracelet Information Exchange
U.S. Launches Fallujah Offensive (photo's)
Stand up for veterans
Veteran's Day is chance to support these invaluable warriors
This Veteran's Day offers ample reminders of the sacrifices of U.S. soldiers. You have only to read the newspaper, turn on the television or listen to the radio to hear reports of U.S. forces fighting in Afghanistan and Iraq. This week soldiers are engaged in a fierce battle in Fallujah, the stronghold of insurgents west of Baghdad. More than 1,100 U.S. soldiers have died in the conflicts, and thousands more have been injured.
Those soldiers join the ranks of veterans to whom we owe a tremendous debt. Their selfless commitment to country and duty continue to help keep Americans safe and America free.
But as the number of U.S. military veterans swells to nearly 25 million, today is more than an opportunity to say thank you. It is also a chance to rededicate ourselves to adequately providing for the needs of veterans.
What some veterans face in this country is disheartening. Some are not receiving adequate or timely medical help. Some are not receiving adequate financial help.
Remember the shameful revelations last year that U.S. soldiers injured or sick after war duty in Iraq found themselves housed at crudely furnished barracks with concrete floors waiting weeks to see a doctor and get proper medical care. Lack of resources forced the injured soldiers to hobble on their crutches to outdoor latrines and shower in communal bathrooms. This is not how we should treat Americans who put their lives on the line for us.
Nor should returning soldiers face homelessness or bankruptcy because they're not paid enough to support their families. Nor should aging veterans have to put off needed medical care because the Veterans Administration hospitals can't meet their needs.
Veterans Affairs Secretary Anthony Principi noted Tuesday that the needs of veterans are increasing with the current conflicts. Technological advances in body armor have saved many soldiers who in previous wars would have died. They're returning with more and different kinds of medical problems. "We will need to have increased resources," Mr. Principi said. He's right. That's our duty.
President Bush visited some of those wounded soldiers Tuesday at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. "Every time I come to Walter Reed," he said, "I'm struck by the courage and bravery of our men and women who wear the uniform."
Today, our nation honors those fighting in today's wars and those who served in the past. As we look on at Veteran's Day parades and solemnly salute these warriors, we should pledge to stand up for them with the same unswerving commitment they showed in protecting us.
© 2004 Charlotte Observer and wire service sources. All Rights Reserved.
Steve Liewer / S&S
Nine soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division's 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment received Purple Hearts Tuesday at Forward Operating Base MacKenzie, Iraq, for injuries received this year during Operation Iraqi Freedom.
Steve Liewer / S&S
From left, Spc. Adrian Stone, 27; Sgt. Charles Fray, 22; and Staff Sgt. Paul Sponsel, 25, received Army Commendation Medals Frays and Sponsels with Valor for their efforts to save the life of their platoon leader, 1st Lt. Andrew Houghton, after an ambush on their Bradley fighting vehicles in Duliuyah, Iraq, on July 10. Houghton died of his injuries a month later.
Terry Boyd / S&S
The only time you'll see Spc. Adrian Danczyk without his Kevlar is between missions. Danczyk became a believer in the life-saving value of battle helmets after he was hit in the head by a 7.62 mm round during a firefight near Fallujah, Iraq.
Steve Liewer / S&S
Fray and Sponsel got tattoos on their arms: crosses adorned with the initials of two lost comrades, Houghton and Pfc. Nicholas Blodgett.
Steve Liewer / S&S
Maj. Gen. John Batiste, commander of the 1st Infantry Division, pins an Army Commendation Medal with valor on the pocket of Staff Sgt. Paul Sponsel, 25, of the 1st Squadron, 4th Cavalry Regiment.
T.D. Flack / S&S
Tech. Sgt. Henry Williams, center, sings the national anthem prior to Saturdays baseball clinic.
U.S. Army photo/ S&S
Capt. Andy Houghton, who was injured in a rocket attack in Iraq. He died nearly a month later in a hospital in Washington, D.C.
Soldiers from the 4th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Infantry Division, search for insurgents near Ad Duluiyah, Iraq. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.
Soldiers from the 35th Infantry Regiment, 25th Infantry Division, provide security near a landing zone in Zabol Province, Afghanistan. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.
Soldiers from the 1st Infantry Division, stationed at Camp Caldwell, patrol the outskirts of the village of Ashbilia, Iraq. This photo appeared on www.army.mil.
An OH-58D Kiowa Warrior helicopter from the 1st Infantry Division takes off on a mission from Forward Operation Base MacKenzie, Iraq.
After firing his M16A2 rifle, Spc. Houston Byrne examines the hits on his target at Udairi Range, Kuwait. His unit, the 1088th Engineer Battalion of the Louisiana National Guard, is deploying into Iraq with the 256th Brigade Combat Team.
The battle for Falluja could prove the most important since the American invasion of Iraq 19 months ago.
Some 20,000 US and Iraqi troops are gathered around Fallujah
US troops came under heavy fire as they began their advance into Falluja.
US aircraft and artillery have been battering Falluja for weeks, but now ground troops - US and Iraqi - are going in.
Many people have already died in US air strikes. Here, graves are prepared.
The hospital was stormed by US-led forces early on Monday, and several prisoners were taken. They also seized two bridges.
The History of Veterans Day
November 11, or what has come to be known as Veterans Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day -- the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. In legislature that was passed in 1938, November 11 was "dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day.'" As such, this new legal holiday honored World War I veterans.
In 1954, after having been through both World War II and the Korean War, the 83rd U.S. Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
In 1968, the Uniforms Holiday Bill insured three-day weekends for Federal employees by celebrating four national holidays on Mondays: Washington's Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Under this bill, Veterans Day was moved to the last Monday of October. Many states did not agree with this decision and continued to celebrate the holiday on its original date. The first Veterans Day under the new law was observed with much confusion on October 25, 1971.
Finally on September 20, 1975, President Gerald R. Ford signed a law which returned the annual observance of Veterans Day to its original date of November 11, beginning in 1978. Since then, the Veterans Day holiday has been observed on November 11.
Celebrating the Holiday
If the November 11 holiday falls on a non-workday -- Saturday or Sunday -- the holiday is observed by the federal government on Monday (if the holiday falls on Sunday) or Friday (if the holiday falls on Saturday). Federal government closings are established by the U.S. Office of Personnel Management; a complete schedule can be found here. State and local government closings are determined locally, and non-government businesses can close or remain open as they see fit, regardless of Federal, state or local government operation determinations.
United States Senate Resolution 143, which was passed on August 4, 2001, designated the week of November 11 through November 17, 2001, as "National Veterans Awareness Week." The resolution calls for educational efforts directed at elementary and secondary school students concerning the contributions and sacrifices of veterans.
Veterans Day, 2004 By the President of the United States of America
Americans live in freedom because of our veterans' courage, dedication to duty, and love of country. On Veterans Day, we honor these brave men and women who have served in our Armed Forces and defended our Nation.
Across America, there are more than 25 million veterans. Their ranks include generations of citizens who have risked their lives while serving in military conflicts, including World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the Persian Gulf, and the war on terror. They have fought for the security of our country and the peace of the world. They have defended our founding ideals, protected the innocent, and liberated the oppressed from tyranny and terror. They have known the hardships and the fears and the tragic losses of war. Our veterans know that in the harshest hours of conflict they serve just and honorable purposes.
Through the years, our veterans have returned home from their duties to become active and responsible citizens in their communities, further contributing to the growth and development of our Nation. Their commitment to service inspires all Americans.
With respect for and in recognition of the contributions our service men and women have made to the cause of peace and freedom around the world, the Congress has provided (5 U.S.C. 6103(a)) that November 11 of each year shall be set aside as a legal public holiday to honor veterans.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, GEORGE W. BUSH, President of the United States of America, do hereby proclaim November 11, 2004, as Veterans Day and urge all Americans to observe November 7 through November 13, 2004, as National Veterans Awareness Week. I urge all Americans to recognize the valor and sacrifice of our veterans through ceremonies and prayers. I call upon Federal, State, and local officials to display the flag of the United States and to encourage and participate in patriotic activities in their communities. I invite civic and fraternal organizations, places of worship, schools, businesses, unions, and the media to support this national observance with commemorative expressions and programs.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this ninth day of November, in the year of our Lord two thousand four, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and twenty-ninth.
GEORGE W. BUSH
I think it is fitting at the end of a patriotic holiday Veteran's Day to recall in music TAPS at the end of a duty day. The photo's of many of our finest. Links to other Wars where many served as they serve today, with honor and the letter from a son to his family that may have been written during the Vietnam Conflict but really could have been written by any one of our soldiers who have served.
God Bless all those who serve, their families -- God Bless America!!
(I hope you will share it friends and loved ones)
Veteran's Day is Done **PING**
Hope you will have time to drop by and spend some time with our troops past and present.
Thank you, all who have served!
Thank you for the ping, and the thread.. and for honoring our Veterans and current soldiers (Veterans in the making, as the President called them) so spectacularly. This thread is a keeper, and I'll be saving the pictures. They are truly inspiring, thank you.
God Bless our Veterans, God Bless our Troops, God Bless America.
Thanx for the post. Nice job.
My painter's son(I run a motorcycle repair shop)arrived in Los Angeles today after serving in Iraq for over a year(he's a Marine). That made this vet's Veteran's Day. Had to hug the very fit fellow!
I so appreciate your kind words, while I worried how this might turn out, it was really the hearts of the Veterans who guided me to the end result, if that makes any sense.
Your words were what I had hoped would be achieved, so thank you so thank you for your post.
How exciting. Please tell him thank you for his service and thank you for your service as well.
You can bet I told him!
and you're welcome.
God watch over them and keep them in Your care.
Great Veterans' Day post!!
Thought you might like to see this, perhaps we should not just think of these fine folks on Veterans Day.
Of course many Freepers have gratitude year round and have a place to share their thoughts due to a fine Patriot like yourself. I salute you this day and everyday!!
Earlier someone had asked me a couple of questions regarding Veterans Day. When I went to the net I found many sites but not offering the same items I was looking for. So I went ahead and gathered the news items along with relevant sites for those who are interested in history. History of TAPS, soldiers and previous conflicts, Bush's remarks on the day, photo's of our soldiers and various other items that might be of interest and perhaps kept handy for next Veterans Day.
Frankly I feel like I should be looking at this at least once a day. While it is wonderful to have this day set aside to honor our Veterans, I do not think it is to much to ask to think of them in this way every day. At least that is my humble opinion.
Thank you for allowing me to share my efforts through this **PING**.
President Bush Honors Veterans at Arlington National Cemetery
Remarks by the President on Veterans Day
Arlington National Cemetery
11:36 A.M. EST
THE PRESIDENT: Thank you for that warm welcome. Laura and I are honored to be here today. Mr. Secretary, thank you for your kind introduction, and thank you for your strong leadership in making sure our veterans have got the very best care possible. Secretary Principi has done a fantastic job for the American veteran. (Applause.)
I thank the members of my Cabinet who have joined us today. I appreciate the Chiefs of Staff and other members of the United States military who have joined us. I want to thank all the veterans who are here today. I want to thank the representatives of veterans organizations. And I want to thank my fellow Americans.
Veterans Day is set aside to remember every man and woman who has taken up arms to defend our country. We honor every soldier, sailor, airman, Marine and Coastguardsman who gave some of the best years of their lives to the service of the United States and stood ready to give life, itself, on our behalf. Twenty-five million military veterans walk among us, and on this day, our nation thanks them all. (Applause.)
These are the hidden heroes of a peaceful nation: our colleagues and friends, neighbors and family members who answered the call and returned to live in the land they defended.
Our veterans are drawn from several generations and many backgrounds. They're Americans who remember the swift conflict of the Persian Gulf War; and a long Cold War vigil; the heat of Vietnam and the bitter cold of Korea. They are veterans in their 80s, who served under MacArthur and Eisenhower and saved the liberty of the world. And still with us in the year 2004 are a few dozen Americans who fought the Kaiser's army and celebrated the end of the Great War on this day in 1918. (Applause.) The last doughboys are all more than 100 years old. Our nation will always be proud of their service.
Some of our veterans are young men and women with recent memories of battle in mountains and in deserts. In Afghanistan, these brave Americans helped sweep away a vicious tyranny allied with terror and prepared the way for a free people to elect its own leaders. In Iraq, our men and women fought a ruthless enemy of America, setting the people free from a tyrant who now sits in a prison cell. (Applause.)
All who have served in this cause are liberators in the best tradition of America. Their actions have made our nation safer in a world full of new dangers. Their actions have also upheld the ideals of America's founding, which defines us still. Our nation values freedom -- not just for ourselves, but for all. And because Americans are willing to serve and sacrifice for this cause, our nation remains the greatest force for good among all the nations on the Earth. (Applause.)
Some of tomorrow's veterans are in combat in Iraq at this hour. They have a clear mission: to defeat the terrorists and aid the rise of a free government that can defend itself. They are performing that mission with skill and with honor. They are making us proud. They are winning. (Applause.)
Our men and women in the military have superb training and the best equipment and able commanders. And they have another great advantage -- they have the example of American veterans who came before. From the very day George Washington took command, the uniform of the United States has always stood for courage and decency and shining hope in a world of darkness. And all who have worn that uniform have won the thanks of the American people.
Today, we're thinking of our fellow Americans last seen on duty, whose fate is still undetermined. We will not rest until we have made the fullest possible accounting for every life. (Applause.)
Today we also recall the men and women who did not live to be called "veterans," many of whom rest in these hills. Our veterans remember the faces and voices of fallen comrades. The families of the lost carry a burden of grief that time will lighten, but never lift. Our whole nation honors every patriot who placed duty and country before their own lives. They gave us every day that we live in freedom. The security of America depends on our active leadership in the world to oppose emerging threats and to spread freedom that leads to the peace we all want. And our leadership ultimately depends on the commitment and character of the Armed Forces.
America has needed these qualities in every generation, and every generation has stepped forward to provide them. What veterans have given our country is beyond our power to fully repay, yet, today we recognize our debt to their honor. And on this national holiday, our hearts are filled with respect and gratitude for the veterans of the United States of America. (Applause.)
May God bless our veterans and their families, and may God continue to bless our great nation. Thank you. (Applause.)
Happy Vterans' Day (late) to you, too, Chickie! Thank you for serving our country.
Thank you kindly Chief and back at you! I was hoping this thread might be handy with regard to the holiday but frankly I think we should remember this day, everyday!
Sorry, I goofed up the spelling... Happy Veterans' Day to you, Chickie-poo!
Thank you for yor compositions here.
And thanks to all veterans and future veterans for their service!
FMC You be the boss gal. Thanx for the ping. You can cover my 6 any time.