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Many Americans may not know that it was Dwight D. Eisenhower who in 1954 issued the official proclamation celebrating the service of all veterans by designating Nov. 11, formerly known as Armistice Day, in honor of our vets. Eisenhower, of course, was supreme commander of Allied Forces in Europe during World War II and commander in chief as the 34th president of the United States.

In Ike’s words, “on that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”

This Veterans Day, millions of Americans thank a veteran for serving our nation, but during the hour-long service at the local elementary school or church cemetery, a veteran or active-duty member of the armed forces will take his own life: The harsh reality is that the average suicide rate today among all those who are serving or have served is more than 20 per day — 17 are veterans. [excerpt]


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