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Pay tribute to those who answered the call of duty

POSTED: November 23, 2008 5:00 a.m.

Nov. 11 is a day of remembrance for the veterans who fought for our country. 

  

This week, I encourage everyone to take a moment and recognize our veterans who selflessly gave their time and lives to protect this great nation. We must honor those who fought in defense of liberty and who proudly wore, and currently wear, the United States of America’s uniform into battle to protect their fellow countrymen. 

  

Currently, our soldiers serve in 120 countries throughout the world.

  

The legacy of our veterans continues to inspire today’s soldiers to answer the call of duty.  I applaud the veterans of yesterday for their service and the example they set for our current and future military. 

  

The roots of this national holiday took hold in 1918, when World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.  The entire world celebrated. An armistice, or truce, was signed declaring that the “war to end all wars” was finally over. The next year, November 11th was declared Armistice Day in memory of all the men and women who served in WWI. 

  

Twenty years after WWI, Armistice Day became a federal holiday.

  

Sadly, history shows us that World War I was not the war to end all wars.  Our country endured two more horrific battles, beginning with WWII in 1939, where over 400,000 American soldiers lost their lives defending democracy and freedom. 

  

The Korean War followed from 1950 to 1953; the U.S. lost over 36,000 soldiers. 

  

When the war ended, Congress wanted to commemorate veterans of all wars, not only those who served in World War I. 

  

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming the holiday a remembrance of all wars, and Armistice Day became Veterans Day.

  

We can see how the heroes of wars past continue to inspire and lead our heroes of today.  Each generation of military servicemen and women had one common purpose — promote freedom and democracy around the world, while keeping our homeland safe. 

  

On Veterans Day, we honor each soldier’s commitment to protecting our country. 

  

For their sacrifice, the least we can do is thank all our veterans for their outstanding and selfless service to our nation.

  

We must also take a moment to thank those who uphold the legacy of our veterans — our troops currently serving at home and abroad. 

  

Pause to remember our fallen soldiers and appreciate the sacrifice of those who are still out there fighting. Finally, never forget those veterans’ families and military families who have paid a price for our freedom. We must always support our military families as they watch loved ones deploy for service in the hopes of their safe return. 

  

To all our veterans, I have a simple, yet heartfelt message — thank you for your service. Your example inspires others who follow in your footsteps. Thank you for your steadfast service in peace and war, in this nation and throughout the world.

  

Sen. Chip Pearson serves as chairman of the Economic Development Committee. He represents the 51st Senate District, which includes Dawson, Fannin, Gilmer, Lumpkin, Pickens and Union counties and portions of Forsyth and White counties. He may be reached at (404) 656-9921 or via e-mail at chip.pearson@senate.ga.gov.

 

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