A Veterans Day message
LTG H Steven Blum, chief, National Guard Bureau
“Veterans Day reminds us once again to remember and reflect on the selfless sacrifices of members of America’s armed forces.
“The original Armistice Day recognized the cease-fire signed by the allied powers and Germany that took effect at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918 – the eleventh hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. That concluded the hostilities of World War I, known as the “War to end all wars.” More than 2 million service members of the American Expeditionary Force fought bravely on and over the battlefields of Europe. The National Guard supplied 17 divisions, about 40 percent of the force, as well as three infantry regiments to the all-black 93rd Division. Exactly half of the Medals of Honor awarded during or immediately after the war – 39 of 78 – went to soldiers in Guard divisions.
“Americans continue to honor the enormous sacrifices of all the service men and women who have paid the ultimate price for freedom and to thank those who continue to serve…
“Today, our expeditionary Guard Soldiers and Airmen continue the fight to defend freedom around the world against a relentless enemy who opposes our way of life.
“From those challenging days at the dawn of the 20th Century through the first years of the 21st century, we have witnessed major wars and countless conflicts. One constant has remained: the commitment of those who have served and continue to serve our nation in forever challenging times — our veterans. We honor their memory for what they have done to keep America and the world safe.
“To the National Guard men and women who continue the fight against those who have made America their target during this Global War on Terrorism, I salute you. I thank you, your families, and your employers for your constant vigilance and your continuing sacrifices.”