On Veterans Day 2010, remember all who served

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — 11 a.m. on Nov. 11, 1918 — the armistice to end the first world war officially took effect.

The celebration of that event was originally called Armistice Day. Now, however, we call it Veterans Day, and it is a time to honor all of the men and women who have served in our military throughout our history, including 109-year-old Frank Buckles of West Virginia, believed to be the last surviving U.S. World War I veteran.

In addition, there are plenty of living veterans of World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the first Gulf War, the current wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, as well as a multitude of smaller conflicts, who deserve recognition and honor for their efforts on behalf of this country.

Particular attention should be paid to those who continue to serve in Iraq and Afghanistan and other dangerous locations across the globe.

Even though the combat mission in Iraq has supposedly ended, our military presence there could be extended, as President Barack Obama suggested during his trip to Asia this week.

And there is no clear end date for the mission in Afghanistan, where every victory over the Taliban seems to be met with new attacks in other parts of that country.

Furthermore, even when a mission is winding down, the threat to military personnel can remain.

Despite the signing of the armistice on Nov. 11, 1918, an estimated 3,500 U.S. soldiers and Marines were killed or injured on that day, some before and some after 11 a.m., according to HistoryNet.com. Altogether, an estimated 6,600 Allied and German soldiers died on the original Armistice Day.

We offer a heartfelt thank-you to all who have served the military of this country and helped protect the freedoms we all cherish. And to those still serving in harm’s way, may you return home soon, safe and sound.


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