Who We Celebrate on Veterans Day
WHO WE CELEBRATE ON VETERANS DAY
On Nov. 11, our country will honor its veterans as it does every year, with parades, ceremonies, speeches and patriotic music. Schools will welcome us into their classrooms and ask us to tell our stories, and everywhere we go young and old alike will clasp our hands and say, “thank you for serving.” We are blessed to live in a grateful nation.
We also live in an incredibly diverse nation. Our veteran population -- just over 23 million and counting –- reflects that. As Americans seek out those in their communities who wore the uniform to recognize them this Veterans Day, they’ll find that women and minorities are serving in the military in greater numbers than ever before.
According to the National Center for Veterans Analysis and Statistics, about 2,600,000 living U.S. veterans –- 11 percent are black. Another 1,824,000 –- 8 percent are women. Smaller percentages include Hispanics –- 5.8 percent, Asian/Pacific Islanders –- 1.5 percent, American Indian/Alaska natives –- 0.8 percent and “other" is 1.3 percent. These numbers are always changing, but together they’re about 29 percent of America’s veterans, or about 6,700.000.
On this Veterans Day, let us thank God for the gift of freedom made possible by those who served our nation with honor, courage and commitment in our armed forces during all wars that enabled so many of them to earn that coveted title of an “American veteran.”