Wednesday, November 10, 2010

USMC, Veterans Day

AFA members, Congressional staff members, civic leaders, DOCA members, today is the 235thbirthday of the US Marine Corps. The Air Force Association wishes our brothers and sisters in arms – many in harm’s way – the very best. Thank you for your valor and service to our nation. Secretary of the Air Force Donley and Chief of Staff, Gen Schwartz also sent their best to the Marines. You can find their message at:

Tomorrow is Veterans Day – a day to honor the veterans of all branches of our Armed Forces. Most, but not all, celebrate this national holiday. [I note the US stock markets and many businesses are not closed on Veterans Day.] It’s worth our time to consider the historical roots of this day. On Nov 11th, 1918 the Armistice was signed at 1100 AM. The original concept for Armistice Day was a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 AM on November 11th, to honor veterans of World War I. The federal holiday we recognize today was approved by Congress in 1938, but it wasn’t until 1954 that Congress replaced “Armistice” with “Veterans” – amending the original Act to commemorate November 11thas a day in America when all veterans are honored. So, tomorrow, we come together to honor and recognize all of our American service members, past and present, and salute you for your service to our country, both in uniform and out.

Veterans Day is also an important one for two other reasons. In remembering the slaughter of World War I, soldiers and airmen around the world posited that there must be a better way to conduct warfare. There were 37 million casualties in the “War to end all Wars.” Trench warfare was both cruel and de-humanizing. They say one learns very little from one’s successes … and a great deal from one’s defeats. Even though WWI was not technically a “defeat,” it had the effect to spur strategists to look to the third dimension for a better way. Coming out of the war, Airpower began to spread its wings and start down the road to realize its potential.

Secondly, there was a view – perhaps it’s better to call it a “hope” – that WWI was so tragic; that so many people had died; and so many others had suffered – that it would be the last war ever fought … certainly the last one on that scale. What followed was a general disarmament in the West, a series of arms control initiatives – contained in the Armistice itself and sought later, and the view put forward that the US is protected by two great oceans; that we can return to a period of “live and let live” … or isolationism. Of course all of this proved to be a mirage.

The reason I mention both is these is we should learn from history and guard against a degradation of American Airpower and a weakened American defense.

Finally, AFA has put out a press release honoring our veterans:

So has President Obama:

And Secretary Gates:

However, perhaps the most heartfelt and poignant piece on this day comes from one of our members -- MSgt Angela Tristan, Acting first Sergeant, 14thWeather Squadron. The piece appeared in the Asheville Citizen Times, and we have put a link to it on our website:

I’ve read the piece 3 times … and every time brings both a tear and swelling of pride for the great sacrifices of those who have and are serving. Well done, MSgt Tristan !!!

For your consideration.


Michael M. Dunn
Air Force Association


Col. G said...

Many thanks to Master Sergeant Tristan for her fine article concerning Veteran's Day.She well represents our outstanding USAF NCO's who consistently perform their duties with high professionalism and dedication.God Bless.

dana said...