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On Veterans Day | Kestrel's Aerie

On Veterans Day | Kestrel's Aerie

On Veterans Day

Tuesday morning, I saw the following editorial cartoon in the local newspaper.

Picture Credit: Mike Keefe, Denver Post First, let me make it absolutely clear that I endorse the sentiment here one hundred percent. As a Veteran myself,1 you better believe I recognize and honor those who have made the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation.

However, I am a little bit disturbed by the too-common misconception promulgated by this cartoon: that Veterans Day is intended to honor those who have given their lives in military service. In fact, Memorial Day (the last Monday in May) is the day on which we honor those military members who have died while in military service.

Veterans Day, on the other hand, is intended to honor all veterans, living or dead, regardless of wartime service. Originally celebrated as Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I (the Armistice was signed at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918), Congress changed the holiday to Veterans Day in 1954.

If you are serving today, God bless you and keep you safe. And if you’re serving in a combat zone, my earnest hope is that you return home soon, safe and permanently.

So when you put your flag out today, or see the flags flying all over town, please thank all military veterans for their service: “Land of the free, because of the Brave.”


  1. Major, USAF, Retired
5 Responses to On Veterans Day
  1. uberVU – social comments
    November 11, 2009 | 10:25

    Social comments and analytics for this post…

    This post was mentioned on Twitter by dominatewownow: On Veterans Day: Tuesday morning, I saw the following editorial cartoon in the local newspaper.
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  2. Rechnungskauf
    November 12, 2009 | 09:31

    I'm from Germany and it always surprises me (in a good way) how Americans honor their military. Over here – probably b/c service is mandatory and not a choice – the standing of servicemembers in society could not be worse. There are debates over Afghanistan over and over again, but it's always political, and nobody ever thinks about the servicemen, which I think is sad.

    • Kestrel
      November 12, 2009 | 17:33

      During the Vietnam War, it was very much the same way here, only worse; like you, I think part of the reason was the unpopularity of the war, but also, we had compulsory service then as well. Today, every serviceman and woman is a volunteer, so I think it's easier in some ways to appreciate them.

      Also, I believe 9/11 has a lot to do with. While we can debate the current Afghan/Iraq wars, there's no question that in general the American people view the military as a bulwark against terrorism in any form.

  3. Oyesnake
    November 12, 2009 | 14:13

    Just wanted to say thanks for YOUR service Major.

    • Kestrel
      November 12, 2009 | 17:35

      Thank YOU. :) As I tweeted yesterday, it's the way people express their appreciation for our service, that makes a lot of what we went through and put up with, worthwhile. (And to be completely honest, I had it pretty damned easy, compared to a LOT of people.)