Each year on Nov. 11, Americans set aside 24 hours to pause, reflect and honor our nation’s veterans. But to those of us who wore the uniform, every day is Veterans Day. We are constantly flooded with thoughts and memories of places we served and the comrades who stood beside us. Yes, we remember. We remember what we went through. We remember what we were able to accomplish. We remember the good times. We remember the bad times. We remember it all.
U.S. military service and unionism go hand-in-hand—and always have. Working people stormed the beaches of Normandy, waded the rivers of Southeast Asia and planted dusty boots on the deserts of the Middle East.
This video in the AFGE's series "I Am AFGE" is very appropriate for Veterans Day. It introduces us to Christopher Lee Castle, an AFGE vice president and a veteran who took a job as a loan specialist at the Department of Veterans Affairs so he could help his fellow soldiers. This video expresses not only the true spirit of our men and women in uniform, but the true spirit of America on the day we say "thank you" for their service.
Yesterday, America's unions and working families thanked the men and women who served our country on Veterans Day.
In case you missed it, here's a Huffington Post column from AFL-CIO President Richard Trumka and J. David Cox, chair of the AFL-CIO Union Veterans Council and president of AFGE: Is This How to Salute a Veteran?
This Veterans Day, I’ll be thinking about a conversation I had with Cecil Roberts, president of the Mine Workers (UMWA), when he was in Paducah, Ky., for Labor Day. Roberts, a combat veteran of the Vietnam War, says it’s time for unions to take back two big issues the labor haters have hijacked from our movement: “The Bible and patriotism.”
Whether they served on the beaches of Normandy, the rivers of Southeast Asia or the deserts of the Middle East, Nov. 11 is the day we honor our country's veterans. Originally proclaimed a holiday by President Wilson in 1919, Nov. 11 was chosen because major hostilities of WWI were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with Germany signing the Armistice.