Every year, when time comes around to November 11th, our minds turn to the many veterans who have served in the US Armed Forces, those who are still serving, and all the men and women in our history who served and gave the ultimate sacrifice. Our annual message is written to recognize and appreciate those in the AMS workforce who are veterans. We salute you.
The History of Veterans Day
We’ll take a moment to go over the history of this federal holiday and how it came to be. This day marks the formal end of world war I. It was on the 11th hour of the 11th month on the 11th day that the Armistice with Germany went into effect. At first it was called Armistice Day and it was renamed Veterans Day in 1954.
The total number of military and civilian casualties in World War I, was around 40 million. Over 60 million people died in World War II. And of course, more wars followed – Korea, Viet Nam and more. Sadly we still have soldiers at war. While veterans day honors those that have died, it even more honors those veterans that are with us, and all of the men and women currently serving.
Business Helping Veterans
In one of our past messages we talked about what AMS is doing to help those veterans who sacrificed health and wellbeing along with other unanticipated challenges.
As an employer we are aware of employment issues that veterans face after discharge from service. We look for ways to help those who are returning to civilian life, making veterans an important part of our workforce development programs. With the assistance of partners in the community, we hire and train veterans, persons who are homeless, individuals with disabilities, and individuals with criminal justice involvement.
Reports indicate that around 10% of homeless people are veterans. And we all know that many veterans suffer service-related disabilities. One of the biggest challenges faced by service agencies is helping homeless and vulnerable veterans find and keep good jobs. This is where a company’s employment practices and workforce development can come into play. And we are proud to have a long history of hiring veterans in need.
Back to history.com for a moment: On June 4, 1926, Congress passed a resolution that the “recurring anniversary of [November 11, 1918] should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations,” and that the president should issue an annual proclamation calling for the observance of Armistice Day (name changed to Veterans).
It’s written in the resolution – this holiday should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.
Let’s commemorate it that way – exercise good will, give thanks for life and with mutual understanding, perpetuate peace.
The Poppies of Flanders Fields
Finally, let’s find out how the poppies that veterans wear in their lapels became the symbol for Veterans Day. (from Wikipedia)
“From 1914 to 1918, Flanders Fields was a major battle theatre on the Western Front during the First World War. A million soldiers from more than 50 different countries were wounded, missing or killed in action here. Entire cities and villages were destroyed, their population scattered across Europe and beyond.
“The war created prime conditions for poppies to flourish in Flanders and north-west France (and Gallipoli). Continual bombardment disturbed the soil and brought the seeds to the surface. They were fertilized by nitrogen in the explosives and lime from the shattered rubble of the buildings.”
Today Flanders Field is the largest military cemetery of the Commonwealth in continental Europe. Almost 12,000 soldiers are buried there.
Here is a YouTube video and recitation of the famous poem, In Flanders Fields by John McCrae (May 1915)