Honoring those who sacrifice for us on Veterans Day

November 11 marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, and the beginning of what today is known as Veterans Day. Every year at this time, we pay tribute to those who have unselfishly served and protected America.

These men and women have given so much for the freedoms we enjoy. The holiday gives us an opportunity to publicly thank them for their valor and for the sacrifices they—and their families—make.

I know many of you have very personal connections to Veterans Day; as a proud Army brat, I do, too. Read this to find out more.

(Clockwise from left: My dad, Chief Warrant Officer Bobby Pace, in Korea; my brother, Lt. Colonel Joe Pace, in Iraq; my brother’s friends in Iraq, holding a sign that reads, “Hey America! Read with our kids today!”)

 

When veterans transition into new lives after serving in the armed forces, higher education is often the route they take. By 2020, estimates are that more than 5 million members of the military will return to civilian life; many will enroll in colleges and universities.

Read “Ten Things You Should Know About Today’s Student Veteran” to find out how educators can be more supportive of this transition.

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day in 1918. That is when, in the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, a cessation in fighting was declared during World War I. (“The Great War” was formally ended with the Treaty of Versailles the following June.)

Congress declared November 11 a legal holiday a few years later. In 1954, members voted to replace “Armistice” with “Veterans” to honor veterans of World War II and the Korean War as well.

Today, the holiday salutes all veterans and active-duty service members. They all embody values that bring us together as a nation.

November is National Veterans and Military Families Month. I hope you’ll join me in thanking veterans and their family members for their selfless dedication.

There are many ways to show your appreciation. Check this out for some ideas. Here are additional resources, lesson plans, and activities for focusing on wartime service and sacrifice.

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