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.
I am extremely proud to have led the AmVets organization over the past four years, trying to meet the needs of all veterans, past and present, as well as their families and survivors in our community. We are fortunate to have many organizations such as the American Legion, VFW, DAV and their auxiliaries. including veterans representative commissions that take up the cause to ensure our veterans are taken care of and given information in health care, education and benefits.
There is more to be done and I encourage everyone to get involved and join a service organization or volunteer. Also, the hospitals are full of veterans who may never leave their rooms and would enjoy a visit with a smile and conversation. Demonstrate your support to our veterans by giving a few hours of your time when available.
Come to Rams Stadium in Mineral Wells on Monday for the annual Veterans Day recognition. American Legion Post 75 always presents a fabulous show, including participation by local school children, honored guests and speakers. The festivities begin at 10:30 a.m.
Speak to you again next week.
Jim Vines is commander of AmVets Post 133.