A Veterans Day Message from West Virginia Department of Veterans Assistance Secretary Thompson
CHARLESTON, W.Va. – Nearly sixty years ago, President Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation making November 11 a day to honor veterans of all eras and all branches of service. He asked Americans to “solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores to preserve our heritage of freedom,” and I am proud that today, so many years later, West Virginians and Americans everywhere continue to observe this important holiday.
As I’ve said before, it is our duty to remember those who have defended this great country on every day of the year. In West Virginia, we strive to do just that by providing veterans free transportation to their medical appointments; offering monetary bonuses to those serving on active duty during war-time; and providing education assistance, license plates, and free hunting and fishing privileges to qualifying veterans, to mention just a few of our services. Additionally, there are a variety of programs offered by other state and federal agencies, nonprofit organizations and private businesses, all designed to honor and thank our veterans throughout the year.
Certainly, West Virginians set the bar when it comes to caring for our men and women in uniform. Still, Veterans Day is of particular importance as it provides us the opportunity to metaphorically join hands with the rest of this great nation and extend a unified, heart-felt thank you to the brave individuals who have sacrificed so much for our freedom. I encourage each and every one of you, this weekend, to thank a veteran for his or her service. Whether you show your appreciation by attending a parade in your hometown, visiting veterans in the nearest VA hospital or simply telling a neighbor how grateful you are for his service – your observance of Veterans Day will help ensure this patriotic tradition continues for generations to come. And, most importantly, it will show veterans in your community the depths of our respect and gratitude for all they’ve done.