President Eisenhower proclaimed the first Veterans Day in 1954 as a day of thanksgiving for our citizens to reflect and celebrate their neighbors, friends, and loved ones who have fought for our nation. On this day, we reflect on the enormous tasks, risks, and hardships that an increasingly small portion of our citizenry has taken on to defend our nation and protect our freedoms.
Our men and women in uniform and their families make great sacrifices. In return, we must uphold our promises to them as a nation. As you celebrate our veterans on this special day, I’d like to remind you of the many ways we can express our gratitude.
First, pay tribute to our veterans by doing what you can personally. South Mississippi is fortunate to have one of the nation’s largest veteran populations. Our veterans, from World War II to Iraq and Afghanistan, are a national treasure. They are true patriots who stood up and answered the call to serve. Our Greatest Generation lived during a time when nothing was handed to you, but earned through your own merits. We can continue to express our gratitude by honoring their accomplishments and lives, thus ensuring their legacies are carried on.