On the eleventh day at the eleventh hour of the eleventh month every year, our nation remembers the moment when the guns of World War I were silenced. On this day, November 11, we recognize the service and the sacrifice of our nation’s veterans – today about 21 million men and women who live among us from a total of 43 million since 1776. From Valley Forge to Vietnam, from Kuwait to Kandahar, from Berlin to Baghdad, our veterans have borne the costs of America’s wars as they have stood watch over America’s peace.
This day is dedicated to all who answered the call to service whether they live in honor among us or sleep in valor. Our veterans are drawn from many generations and from many backgrounds: some charged across great battlefields; others fought on the high seas; still others patrolled the open skies. In the 1960s and 70s many faced guerilla forces, while more recently troops faced hideous explosive devices. But all contributed to the character and to the greatness of America.
On this Veteran’s Day, I am humbled by the strong commitment of those who have served or continue to serve. In Minnesota alone, more than 370,000 men and women – who answered the call to serve our country – live among us today. Many of them bear the scars of their service to our country, but we are a nation that will keep its commitments to those who have risked their lives for our freedom. Like you, I appreciate and honor the service of those who wear our uniform and will not forget their sacrifices, nor those of their families.
As we listen to tributes to bravery, raise our flags and the bugler plays taps on Monday, Nov. 11, we will remember that the men and women of America’s Armed Forces serve a great cause. They follow a great tradition of patriotism, one handed down to them by America’s veterans of yesteryear.
I hope that many of you will attend the ceremonies in our communities, so please check this newspaper for location and time.
May God bless our veterans, may God bless all who wear the uniform, and may God continue to bless the State of Minnesota and the United States of America.
Sondra Erickson is the Minnesota State Representative for District 15A. She represents the Princeton and Milaca areas.