By Edgar Brookins, AFRO General Manager, D.C.

With over two decades of service to the country and to the AFRO, Army veteran, Edgar Brookins reflects on Veterans Day and why its celebrated in the United States.

Sunday is Veterans Day and throughout the commemorative weekend there will be speeches, parades, specials and ceremonial services all across the United States and beyond. As a twenty-one year Army Vietnam Era veteran, I reflect back on when this special day got etched in the history of our Nation.

Edgar Brookins as a young private when he first enlisted in the Army in 1969.

A phrase that has become the definition of how Americans express their humble thanks to the members of the Armed Forces is, “thank you for your service.” Those words will be uttered numerous times.

So with nearly 20 million veterans on the rolls, why a single holiday to honor our veterans?

Historically, in November 1919, one year after the Armistice that ended World War I went into effect, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as the commemoration of Armistice Day.

In 1938, Congress approved a bill that made Nov. 11 an annual legal holiday known as “Armistice Day” that honored the cause of world peace however it was used primarily to pay gratitude and honor World War I Veterans. In 1954, after World War II, the law was amended; the word Armistice was changed to Veterans and Nov. 11 became a day to honor Veterans of all American wars.

Veterans Day continues to be observed in all Federal Agencies and local communities and is overwhelmingly supported by all major veterans’ service organizations like the VFW, the American Legion and the National Association of Black Veterans.

So Veterans Day serves as a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the our beloved nation.

Veterans Day 2018-we honor all those who served…the defenders of freedom-HOOAH!

Edgar Brookins

Special to the AFRO