What is Veterans Day?
The first Veterans of the United States served during the American Revolution in the Continental Army, created in 1775 when colonial militias formed a common army under command of George Washington. Since then, the United States has declared war 11 times and fought in conflicts around the world. More than 41 million Americans have served over the course of the nation’s history. More than 16 million did so in World War II alone.
Who are America’s Veterans? Throughout history, they have included the Green Mountain Boys, Buffalo Soldiers, Tuskegee Airmen, Women Airforce Service Pilots, Screaming Eagles, and Green Berets. They are the men and women who served their country at home and abroad, on land, sea, and air—and since 1973, have served as an all-volunteer force.
Veterans Day is a celebration to honor America’s Veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
What is the History of Veterans Day?
World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” – officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
In 1954, after the greatest mobilization of our Nation’s forces in our country’s history, Congress would pass an Amendment to the Act of 1938 replacing the word “Armistice” with “Veterans”, which would go on to get formally signed into law by President (General) Dwight D. Eisenhower celebrating all of our nation’s Veterans.
President Lincoln said in his Gettysburg address: “But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate, we can not consecrate, we can not hallow this ground. “The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here.”
How many Veterans are living in the US?
According to the US Census in 2018, approximately 18 million were alive who had served in the United States Military. Our total current military population is just over 2 million with approximately 1.4 million as Active Duty and 850,000 in the Reserves and National Guard.
Frank Buckles, led quite a life, beginning with a white lie to military recruiters. He was just sixteen when he tried to enlist with the Marines and Navy, and both rejected him outright. The Army took him and he volunteered as an ambulance driver, which he heard was the quickest way to get to France in 1917.
In 2011, we lost the last living US Veteran of World War I, the last of the Dough Boys, Corporal Frank Buckles, a few weeks after his 110th birthday. Of the World War II Veterans, their numbers are also rapidly decreasing and according to the department of Veterans Affairs projections, by 2044, there will be no more living WW2 Veterans.
There are several efforts being made to catalog stories from our nation’s Veterans, so they are never forgotten; the largest initiative being from the Library of Congress – Veterans History Project
Ways to Express Appreciation on Veterans Day
Veterans Day is an important day for showing appreciation to members of our military, past, and present.
If you’re looking for an appropriate way to honor a Veteran in your life or would like to contribute in a way that’s meaningful for veterans everywhere, here’s a list of 10 ideas to consider:
- Participate in a Veterans Day event in your local area
- Be a mentor to a Veteran (there are several programs such as Veterati, American Corporate Partners, and Trailblazer Mentorship, and Merivis for Salesforce Professionals)
- Donate to a Veteran Service Organization (though there are many great organizations that serve Veterans, just a few of my suggestions include: Honor Flight, Wounded Warrior Project, Fisher House, and Hiring Our Heroes)
- Ask a Veteran about their service
- Visit a VA Hospital
- Bring in a Veteran Speaker
- Hire a Veteran or Military Spouse
- Use a Veteran-owned Business
- Write a simple card or e-card to a Veteran in your life. If you don’t know one, contact your local VFW or American Legion for opportunities
- Fly a Flag – Correctly – according to US Flag Code
Salesforce is Committed to Military Talent
I was able to use Salesforce Military, formerly Vetforce, and Merivis to enter the ecosystem about 2 years ago from another industry. Salesforce Military is an amazing program focused on increasing the number of Veterans and Military Spouses in cloud computing careers and providing this talent to industry partners through the Salesforce Military Alliance.
Salesforce Military provides free training, certifications, and career opportunities within the Salesforce ecosystem and is available to active duty, reserve, guard, veterans, and military spouses.
You can view the story of a Merivis alumni and military Veteran, Sheldon Simmons, who was featured at Dreamforce 2019: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=coNkltwbfnU
On this Veterans Day, we, at Roycon, say thank you to all of our nation’s Veterans for your service and sacrifice to this nation which will remain the land of the free as long as it is home of the brave.
Director of Operations
Mike, a director of operations is a triple threat; an army veteran, financial controller, and Salesforce expert. With project management in his background, he can drive any organization forward, identify areas of opportunity, and truly push forward any organization. His hard work and determination are influential and spread throughout the ecosystem.
We’re an Austin-based Salesforce Consulting Partner, with a passion and belief that the Salesforce platform’s capabilities can help businesses run more efficiently and effectively. Whether you are just getting started with Salesforce or looking to realize its full potential, Roycon specializes in Salesforce Implementations, Salesforce Ongoing Support, and Salesforce Integrations, and Development. We’re the certified partner to guide the way to increase Salesforce Adoption, make strategic decisions, and build your Salesforce Roadmap for success.