For past generations, Nov. 11 was both a somber and celebratory reminder of the end of one of history’s greatest conflicts, World War I. That event, once considered the “war to end all wars,” forever changed the outlook and mindset of veterans returning from the front where traditional rules of warfare no longer existed.
Decades later, after World War II, the day became one of gratitude and recognition of the service of all veterans from all wars in which our country has involved itself. And rightly so — the men and women who choose to serve our country and protect the freedoms we hold dear deserve our deepest thanks.
Veterans Day is particularly significant to me as I remember my father who served in World War II. A member of what is often nicknamed “the Greatest Generation,” his resolve and that of his fellow servicemen to keep Americans safe and aid our allies in their time of need, never fails to impress on me the enormity of their sacrifice.
Likewise, today’s veterans — many from our local Beale Air Force Base — make similar sacrifices for the sake of duty to their country. They leave families and friends behind to defend the principles and liberties that define America.
That is why it is so important to take time, step back, and reflect on what their selflessness means for us and our society. Officially, we take one day out of the year to highlight the work of these incredible individuals, but it should not only be limited to a single day every November.
We need to remember our veterans year-round and ensure that when they return from the battlefield, we take care of them and their families and provide for their easy transition into civilian life. It would be impossible to fully repay them for their sacrifice, but these small gestures are just one way we can begin to show our appreciation.
At the end of last year and the beginning of this one, I was proud to lead efforts to guarantee budget funding for Redding’s new veterans home. What was once used as a political football by some in the state budget became a unifying issue for lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.
The simple recognition that our state owes veterans the resources necessary to care for them as they heal from injury or illness or approach their twilight years was a gratifying conclusion to an unfortunate debate over California’s commitment to members of our military.
Returning to civilian life often necessarily involves pursuing career paths that may be different from one’s armed service experience, but share similar skill sets. It is the reason I authored Assembly Bill 1976 this past year, which would have broadened the scope of military training and education that a veteran can apply toward efforts to become a health care professional. Although the measure did not make it into law, my commitment to our veterans remains strong as I work to represent the communities of the North State.
These endeavors are simply a starting point to providing for our veterans, but should by no means be the end all, especially as we continue welcoming back men and women who still serve on foreign shores.
Veterans Day is a significant one of gratitude and remembrance, but it should symbolize something more. All year long, Americans need to recognize it as a reminder of just how special our country is and how the actions of these honored few deserve the appreciation of an indebted and thankful people.
North State Assemblyman Dan Logue represents the 3rd Assembly District in the California Legislature.
The men and women who choose to serve our country and protect our freedoms we hold dear deserve our deepest thanks.