Remembering their sacrifice

  • Published
  • By L. Cunningham
  • 55th Wing Public Affairs

OFFUTT AIR FORCE BASE, Neb. -- Veterans Day is celebrated Nov. 11 every year to commemorate the signing of the armistice to end World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. It is a day set aside to remember and think about the veterans who paid the ultimate price in the past and even the recent wars today.

It is the time to reflect on the freedoms gained and maintained due to the bravery of every man and woman who fought in combat. Remembering those that devoted their lives to the military way of life to defend the constitution of the United States of America.

Veterans have served this country unselfishly and given their all so “we the people” may maintain the freedom of speech, the freedom to assemble, the freedom to bear arms, the freedom of religion and so many others that are sometimes taken for granted.

They are, and have been, our grandfathers, fathers, sons, brothers, grandmothers, mothers, daughters, sisters, uncles, aunts, neighbors and co-workers. We may not always know who they are, but their family and friends do.

Remember those who sacrificed with their lives and never made it home to be with their families.   

The last living American World War I veteran Frank Buckles died in 2011 at the age of 110, he had been an ambulance driver in Europe and had achieved the rank of corporal before the war ended.

In 2015, according to the Department of Veterans Affairs published projections, there were about 300,000 World War II veterans still alive.

According to The National Veterans Foundation for Korean War Veterans, approximately 2.25 million are still alive.

The American War Library, Vietnam War statistics approximately 610,000 who served on land and in air, and approximately 164,000 who served at sea in Vietnam waters, were still alive in 2019.

The veterans from more recent conflicts have come home with mental and bodily injuries. Many suffer from Post-Traumatic Stress Syndrome, losing limbs or vision and approximately 6,000 lost their lives.

They answered their nation’s call, some were drafted and some volunteered. Some served two years, four years or ten years, some devoted their young adult lives to the military and retired.