National Adjutant Message
Barry A. Jesinoski, National Adjutant
The many faces of Veterans Day
When I think about the gravity and significance of Veterans Day, I’m struck by its history. Much like our beloved organization, the roots of Veterans Day stretch back to World War I. The horrors of that conflict traveled from the trenches of Europe to America’s cities and towns and were laid bare on the faces, limbs and minds of those who fought it.
It was a fight so insidious that it was dubbed “the war to end all wars.” The countries involved couldn’t conceive of wading back into that nightmare again.
Its aftermath inspired our founder, Judge Robert Marx, to form an organization “by us and for us” just two years after the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The holiday was forever transformed in 1954 when Congress struck the word “Armistice” from its namesake and replaced it with “Veterans.”
More than a name change, the day anchors our nation to the actions and service that make our way of life possible.
Today, we observe Veterans Day to honor all who have served our nation, whether in wartime or at peace, at home or abroad. Any veteran who has served under America’s flag has rightly earned that recognition.
While we at DAV routinely thank those who have served through our world-class service and top-notch programs, we must lead the charge to properly honor the brave men and women who raise their right hand to serve us all.
When people think of Veterans Day, many think of warriors storming the beaches of Normandy or engaging the enemy on the streets of Fallujah. But we must also keep in mind those who have once waited patiently for the return of their loved ones and share in the sacrifice as family members and caregivers.
The faces of those who guarantee our freedom also serve as caregivers, providing crucial support for their injured loved ones. Veteran family members also offer essential encouragement, which can be a transformative force for those on their journey to recovery.
Make no mistake, without family members’ support and faithful dedication to their loved ones, our nation would not be as strong as it is. When America’s sons and daughters who raise their right hands are forever changed by their service, that support is irreplaceable. Instead of serving behind their veterans, they proudly do so by their side.
I’m immensely proud of what DAV does every day to help ease the unique burden placed on the shoulders of veterans and their families. And I can think of no better way of honoring Veterans Day than recognizing and celebrating their service and sacrifices.
If you want to find out more about the National Adjutant, you can find his biography here.