|November 11, 2020|
Veterans Day falls on November 11 because World War I ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Preserving America’s freedom has always required the sacrifices of our sons and daughters in uniform, even when unacknowledged. Over 1,000,000 Black Americans and other people of color fought in World War II, though segregation was the order of the day for the U.S. military until 1948. Nonetheless, the Tuskegee Airmen (the 332nd Expeditionary Operations Group and the 477th Bombardment Group of the United States Army Air Forces); the women of the 6888th Central Postal Directory Battalion (colored); the second-generation Japanese-Americans of the 442 Infantry Regiment (“Nisei”); the Navajo Code Talkers of the U.S. Marine Corps; and many thousands of others proved patriotism and love of country belongs to all Americans.
The same proved true in Korea, Vietnam, Desert Storm, Afghanistan, Iraq, and dozens of smaller conflicts throughout America’s modern history. Today the defense of our nation rests in the capable hands of an all-volunteer military that does not discriminate based on race, gender, religion, or sexual orientation. Arm in arm, they have always stood their ground and done us proud.
Delaware State University is both proud and grateful for all the veterans among our faculty, staff, students, and alumni. They are almost invariably quiet people who do not seek personal recognition, but it is our obligation to remember them on this day of all days.
Our veterans also want you to remember the hundreds of thousands of their fellows who returned from combat with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and/or life-changing injuries, who have become homeless or felt driven to suicide. They need more than a “Thank you for your service.” They need us to keep our promises, and devote the resources and the compassion necessary to help them heal and restart their lives. As always — together.
Tony Allen, Ph.D.