Statement from Chair Rosie Rios Recognizing Veterans Day
Our nation was born from the sacrifice of revolutionaries. While they didn’t fight under the stars and stripes like our nation’s armed forces do today, their bravery and service helped lay the foundation for one of the greatest fighting forces the world has ever known. Millions of men and women answered the call to serve our country, embodying the essence of valor, sacrifice, and dedication. For almost 250 years, our veterans have played an indispensable role in shaping our nation’s history, safeguarding our freedoms, and defending the principles upon which our country was founded. Today and every day, we remember and recognize veterans’ remarkable contributions.
Veterans Day, initially known as Armistice Day, was first observed on November 11, 1919, to mark the end of World War I. It was a day to reflect on the sacrifices made by those who served in the “war to end all wars.” However, following World War II and the Korean War, in 1954, Congress responded to the requests of veterans’ service organizations by renaming the day ‘Veterans Day,’ thus extending the tribute to encompass American veterans from all wars.
Veterans, representing a diverse array of backgrounds, have stood on the front lines in times of war and peace to defend our freedom and the freedom of others around the globe. They have shown unwavering devotion to their fellow servicemembers, their homeland, and the principles of liberty and democracy. In moments of triumph and adversity, veterans have been the embodiment of the American spirit, epitomizing those timeless American values of selflessness, honor, and duty.
Today, we pay tribute to our veterans and their stories of bravery and defense of America. As the organization responsible for organizing the commemoration of our nation’s 250th anniversary, we embrace the duty to center the stories of our veterans throughout our programming. Marking 250 years would not be possible without the valiant service and sacrifice of the men and women of our Armed Forces. A grateful nation thanks you for your service.