By JIM VINES
Many people confuse Memorial Day and Veterans Day. Both holidays were established and honor the men and women who have worn the uniform of the United States Armed Forces.
Memorial Day, which is observed on the last Monday in May, is set aside as a day for remembering and honoring military personnel who died in the service of their country, particularly those who died in battle or as a result of wounds sustained in battle.
While those who died are also remembered on Veterans Day, which is observed on Nov. 11, Veterans Day is largely intended to thank and honor all those who served honorably in the military, in wartime or peacetime. In fact, Veterans Day allows us to thank veterans for their service, to acknowledge that their contributions to our national security is appreciated, and to underscore the fact that all those who served, not only those who died, have sacrificed and done their duty.
On Veterans Day let’s pay tribute to the millions of Americans who throughout our great history placed their lives on the line for liberty. In the years since our nation was born, veterans have given selfless service to our country in time of war and peace. At every critical stage in America’s history, these men and women stepped up when they were called upon and their efforts to preserve the freedom we know has made an impact at home and abroad.
For those who decided to make a commitment that countless other Americans who wear a military uniform have done, regardless of the reason, Nov. 11 is their day of recognition. Their service and sacrifice give veterans service organizations, such as AmVets, a reason for being. It is because our brothers and sisters in arms have so readily and selflessly given so much that we, in turn, are obligated to stand ready to support them when they need us.