Honor the Veteran in Your Life

World War I seems distant to most people on the earth today, but it was a bloody war in its time that seemed to suck the entire world into its terrible litany of “firsts”: first to be fought on land, sea and air, first widespread use of poison gas, and first use of tanks, flamethrowers, and aircraft carriers. The war-related mental illness then known as “shell shock” was recognized as real. The political effects of this war dominated the 20th century and affect events even today.

Names of Americans missing in action during World War I
https://www.abmc.gov/multimedia/photos/colorbox/5343, opens a new window by Warrick Page/American Battle Monuments Commission
The names of 563 Americans who were considered missing in action, or lost or buried at sea during World War I are honored at Brookwood American Cemetery outside London.

November 11, the day of the armistice, or truce, in western Europe, became a day of remembrance in the U.S., France, and across the British Commonwealth. Unfortunately this war did not turn out to be the War to End All Wars as it was called, and in 1954 the name Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in the United States, opens a new window to honor veterans of all wars.

If you know a veteran or Gold Star family member with a story to tell, record an interview with the Veterans History Project, opens a new window of the Library of Congress American Folklife Center. It collects and preserves the firsthand interviews and narratives of United States military veterans and Gold Star family members from World War I through the present.

Many national parks commemorate the service of veterans, opens a new window. National parks offer free admission on Veterans Day, though some buildings remain closed due to the pandemic. For example, visitors can walk the grounds of the cemetery and prison at the Andersonville National Historic Site, opens a new window in Georgia, but will not have access to the Prisoner of War Museum building.

If you know a veteran who needs a helping hand, get familiar with benefits offered by the U.S. government and the state of Georgia:

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