The following is a joint message from Gen. Tom Hobbins, U.S. Air Forces in Europe commander, and Chief Master Sgt. Gary G. Coleman, USAFE command chief master sergeant.
The conclusion of World War I – “the war to end all wars” – compelled President Woodrow Wilson to set aside a special day of remembrance known as Armistice Day, which later evolved into Veterans Day in honor of American veterans of all wars.
It was to be a day “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.”
On this day we reflect on the freedom our veterans have secured for us in Europe, Korea, Vietnam, the Cold War and a Gulf War. Each time, their sacrifices helped us to emerge stronger and smarter to face future challenges.
Today, our Airmen, Marines, Soldiers and Sailors are engaged in the Global War on Terrorism. They face yet another form of tyranny that we know will confront our nation for many Veterans Days to come.
Human costs will lie ahead until victory is once again ours. They will join the more than 54,000 Airmen who have died in combat to grant us peace and security. Honor them by spending time with a veteran, visiting a war memorial, or just reading historical material.
Enjoy your holiday safely, you deserve it for you ensure freedom’s future. Chief Coleman and I are proud to serve with you.