Fort Polk celebrates veterans ahead of Veterans Day

Just ahead of our National Day of Remembrance for our veterans, the Joint Readiness Training Center and Fort Polk hosted a Veterans Day ceremony.
Published: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:02 PM CST|Updated: Nov. 10, 2022 at 6:17 PM CST
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VERNON PARISH, La. (KALB) - Veterans Day is a time to pay our respects to those who have served. For one day we stand united, in respect for our veterans.

Formerly known as Armistice Day, Veterans Day represents the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, which marked the end of WWI. It is a war some say was the most destructive in our nation’s history. Since that time, Veterans Day has become a federal holiday, and a time for our nation to stand together, and reflect on the sacrifices of our veterans. The keynote speaker, Col. Lee Freeman, said celebrating Veterans Day is important because it keeps memories alive and educates younger generations on our nation’s history.

“So my message was, that to continue what we enjoy and the freedom’s that we have, that our veterans continue to spread the message of what they have endured,” said Freeman. “Also, what they have found enjoyable in their experiences from the military and pass it on to the next generation.”

Only seven percent of our nation has served in the military, meaning a very small portion of Americans has carried the load that comes with military service.

Lt. Colonel Mark Leslie, now retired from the Army, said in a time where division in our country seems to be the norm, that seven percent represents the unity that America stands for.

“Divisiveness is something that is consuming our country,” said Leslie. “One place you will not see that is the military. I served for 30 years and served with all walks of life. It does not matter what personal prejudices I may have had when I came in, or anybody else had. You get to rely on the character of a human being, not anything else, when they come in.”

Those of us who have never served will never fully understand the sacrifices made by our veterans, but on Friday, November 11, if you see a veteran, be sure to thank them for their service.

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