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Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Veterans Day Today, 11th November 2008 - Salute Veterans by Veterans Day Poems, Veterans Day e Cards, Veterans Day Greetings And Wishes

Today is Veterans Day To Honor America's troops. Four score and 10 years ago, the guns of World War I fell silent in Europe. From that event, the commemoration of Veterans Day in the United States evolved. Today, in the midst of two active and deadly wars in Asia, Americans pause to recognize those who have served the nation in the military.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, a single veteran of World War I survives today. He is joined by about 2.3 million veterans of World War II and about the same number of vets from the Korean War. Some 7.1 million veterans of the Vietnam War survive, as do about 2.3 million from the first Gulf War. In sum, there are about 23.4 million veterans still with us who have served the nation in war or peace.

The latest Americans to join their numbers are men and women who have fought in Iraq and Afghanistan. To date, there have been about a million deployments. Some 4,180 Americans have been killed in action in Iraq, and another 617 have died in Afghanistan. About 33,305 have been wounded in action.

Today's wars have an odd place in the public consciousness. They seem to be there and not there simultaneously. We live in what has been dubbed The Information Age, where a Google click can bring instant statistics and personal stories of the wars to any computer screen. Yet the American public is singularly unengaged in these wars, to the point that veterans groups actually find it necessary to remind the rest of us of the sacrifices Americans in uniform are making every day.

Earlier this year, the leader of one veterans group attributed that lack of awareness to the fact that only about one-half of 1 percent of the American population is directly involved in the wars. By comparison, he said, about 12 percent of Americans were directly engaged in World War II.

Whatever the reason, Americans have a duty to hold their government accountable not only for the support of the troops in the field and their families at home, but for their care when the veterans march home. To that end, it is particularly important that the Bush and Obama administrations address ways to recruit more mental-health professionals to combat high rates of post-traumatic stress disorder and depression among returning troops.

They served us. Now it's our turn to serve them.

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