Ladies and Gentlemen,
The Armistice ending the fighting of World War I was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. In 1926, the US Congress officially recognized the end of World War I and declared that the anniversary of the Armistice should be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. The federal holiday we celebrate was approved by Congress in 1938, but it wasn’t until 1954 that Congress replaced “Armistice” with “Veterans,” amending the original Act to commemorate this day as a day in America when all Veterans are honored.
Across our nation we honor our veterans for the sacrifices and contributions they have made to defend the freedoms that too many in this nation take for granted. Freedom is not free!
Every time a member of the Armed Forces and the Coast Guard puts on a uniform, they are placing themselves in harm’s way in defense of a dream. Every year Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Space Command, Marines, Coast Guardsmen, and, DoD Civil Service Employees from the Active Duty, Reserve, and the National Guard die in defense of that dream. We call that dream freedom to live our American way of life.
Within the Federal government there is an agency known as the American Battle Monuments Commission (ABMC) who oversees incredibly special cemeteries. It was first established back in 1923 and has overseen the remains of American Armed Forces since World War I. This commission has the records and maintains the 24 permanent overseas military cemeteries with some 125,000 American military personnel buried in them. Accompanying this letter is a list of the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen, who are interred in an overseas cemetery according to the ABMC.
When you meet a veteran, please tell them thank you. When you meet the family members of a veteran, say thank you to them — they also made sacrifices that are often taken for granted.
I want to send my personal thanks to the Documented Original Tuskegee Airmen, all other Tuskegee Airmen, Inc. veterans, and all the family members who support them.
Tuskegee Airmen Incorporated