November 14, 2020

Cpl. Miguel Dominic, ARNG, speaking at Bannock County Veterans Memorial Day Ceremony, November 11, 2020 (Photo Credit: AMVETS Facebook Page)

Cpl. Miguel Dominic, ARNG, was the guest speaker at a ceremony held on Veterans Day in Pocatello at the Bannock County Veterans Memorial Building.

Following the posting of the colors by the AMVETS Honor Guard and the North Bannock Fire Department, Dominic delivered his remarks to the crowd gathered to honor our veterans.  His remarks follow:

What exactly is Veterans Day?  Veterans Day was originally called “Armistice Day,”  and has always been celebrated on Nov 11.  This is to commemorate the first anniversary of the end of World War I which ended Nov 11, 1919.  Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and Nov 11 became a national holiday beginning in 1938.  Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans living or dead, but especially gives thanks to living Veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.

What does a Veteran look like?  The classical image of the American veteran seems to be the older man who proudly served his country during one of the “Great” wars.  But did you know that veterans come from all different walks of life and in all different ages?

Sometimes Veterans are older, sometimes Veterans are younger, sometimes veterans are women, Sometimes veterans span numerous generations, sometimes Veterans are people we ignore on the streets.

Not all Veterans have been to war, but still no matter what job you did, you served an important role in our Armed Forces and once you completed your training and wore that uniform and completed your service, you earned that title of a veteran

What do all veterans have in common?  They all have served YOU…

How did veterans serve?  First and foremost, our veterans protected our country and its values.  They did by putting their lives on the line everyday, in foreign countries, against enemies with little or no moral code or regard for human life.  They willfully did this whether or not their efforts were appreciated by us or not.

But veterans did so much than just fight the traditional battles:

They provided aid and hope;

They provided smiles and security;

They provided lollipops and a small piece of happiness.

Why is it important to honor our veterans?  There are so many ways to answer this question, but we will just focus on a few:

  1. Veterans fought for our freedoms and risked their lives whether or not we realized it our appreciated it.
  2. Without the service of veterans we would [not] have the freedoms we have today.
  3. Veterans have served ALL of us.
  4. Many veterans struggle to adapt to regular life, get lost in “the system” or become homeless once they get back from their service.

Veterans Day is an annual reminder of what we have to be grateful for every day – that America is blessed with unprecedented safety and security at home because of the hard-fought sacrifice of so many men and women who’ve worn a military uniform.  Veterans Day also reminds us that “freedom isn’t free.”

Veterans Day is a significant time for all Americans to stop and honor millions of our countrymen and women who’ve served in the military.  However, our gratitude and respect only mean so much if our veterans are left to face their everyday problems alone.  So, let’s take our appreciation a step further and reach out and support those who’ve done so much for us.

On this day and every day lets not forget to salute and remember our men and women of our Armed Forces.  To those that have served in the Army, Marine Corps, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard, we thank you for your service.

As we set today aside to honor and thank our veterans, let us be mindful that we should do this every day of the year and not just one.

AMVETS Idaho Post 1 Adjutant Chris Riley being sworn in by Post Commander Lance Kolbet (Photo Credit: AMVETS)

This part I read next was written by Chris Riley (AMVETS Idaho Post 1 Adjutant)

“Veterans Day is another holiday for some, some view it as a day off, some forget about it.

For us as veterans, this is a day we remember:

We remember our war stories that started in Basic Training

We remember that NCO, Commander or first Supervisor we had that helped our career.

We remember that first deployment, the feeling of uncertainty, would we come home?

We remember those friends whom we have not seen in years and how we can still talk to them today and it seems like we never left

We remember the promise we made, that solemn Oath that has no expiration

We remember our brothers and sisters who never made it back

We remember that if we could do it all over again, nothing in is world would hold us back because we are veterans.”

Now I would ask all Veterans here in attendance today to please stand up…

Today, I am one of thousands standing before people just like you in locations all over the world speaking about our veterans.  It is a special day, one set aside to remind us of and to think about the sacrifices and service of our veterans…men and women who have valiantly and selflessly devoted giving themselves towards something greater than themselves…the United States of America.

Indeed, this day helps us focus our attention on the key purpose of Veterans Day:  A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

While the idea of a world without war is appealing, we have to remember that over the years, our veterans, through countless wars and struggles, have liberated oppressed peoples, ended genocide and toppled terrorist regimes.  From the Revolutionary War to the current War on Terror, men and women from all walks of life have shared the common bond of their oath to defend this nation…no matter the danger or the enemy.  And for this, we owe them a debt of gratitude.  Not just today, but everyday.

As we think about giving thanks to our veterans, it’s worth a moment to reflect on who our veterans are today.  We remember our deceased veterans who have served and have been laid to rest.  And we remember our living veterans, from World War I to our current conflicts.  The times may have changed and warfare may have changed, but the veteran is still the same hero.


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