OTHER OPINIONS: Veterans Day

Veterans Day: A reminder of perils

This week the nation once again pays its respects to veterans, men and women who have worn the uniform in service to the United States of America. Although Veterans Day officially is Nov. 11, communities and schools have held numerous ceremonies over several days.

We are reminded daily in the news of the perils throughout the world we are able to confront because of the strength and courage of those who carry on a long tradition of defending freedom. Whether the battle is fought against despots, tyrants, oppressive ideologies or Islamic fanatics, generations of Americans have answered the call. How different would this world be today without that truth?

The occasion of Veterans Day reminds us to give thanks where it is due.

In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as Armistice Day to remind Americans of the tragedies of war. The U.S. had lost 116,000 service members in World War I. A law adopted in 1938 made the day a federal holiday to honor the 4.7 million veterans of that war. In 1954, Congress changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans, past, present and future.

Veterans Day is a special day for 25 million living Americans who have served or are serving in the U.S. Armed Services. It is a time for all Americans to remember and honor the commitment and sacrifices that soldiers, sailors, Marines and guardsmen have made and are making today for their country.

More than 42 million Americans have worn the uniforms of their country during times of war. Of those, more than 650,000 have given their lives in combat and nearly the same number have died in service from other causes. Our nation has remained strong because of their sacrifices.

Their significance has never been more evident than today as thousands of young Americans are engaged in conflicts far from home to deter such conflicts from reaching our shores. We thank them and wish them God speed and a safe return home. We thank those who served before them and commit ourselves today to honor them for everything they did to make America great.

Livingston Parish News, Denham Springs, La.

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Cochran gives praise for veterans’ duty

Veterans Day 2013 gives us an opportunity to set aside our day-to-day worries and celebrate the men and women who have served in the United States Armed Forces. It is a national day of recognition and gratitude for those who have bravely served and fought to defend the freedoms that make the United States a beacon of liberty to the world.

I am heartened each year by the pride that Mississippians have for our Armed Forces, and their appreciation for the sacrifices made by loved ones on behalf of our nation. The ceremonies, parades and programs taking place this year will reflect the admiration we share for our veterans. It is gratifying to see the deep respect that the people of my state have for those who have served, from the first Mississippians who took up arms to defend this land to those currently deployed around the world.

Today, the new generation of all-volunteer veterans returning from more than a decade of sustained combat operations reminds us of our sacred obligations to all our veterans and their families. We must dedicate ourselves to meeting those commitments. Doing so will make us a stronger nation.

I appreciate that on Veterans Day the world will witness an American people united in its appreciation of the men and women who have served and fought for our republic.

U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran

Oxford and Jackson

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Deep gratitude due America’s veterans

I am deeply grateful to all the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. As a veteran, the son of a veteran, and the father of an officer in the Air Force, I understand the profound sacrifice of those who have fought to protect our freedoms.

We thank our veterans and remember their commitment to keeping Americans safe and secure throughout our nation’s history.

U.S. Sen. Roger Wicker

Tupelo