What is Veterans Day? For most people it’s a paid day off from work and the the kids stay home from school. There are sales at the mall, parades and other festivities. But do you know why?
Veterans Day is an annual American holiday honoring the 24.5 million military veterans in the United States, 1.7 million of whom are women and 9.5 million of whom are 65 and older. Our oldest living veteran is Frank Woodruff Buckles, WWI veteran, age 109.
Veterans Day is both a federal and state holiday in all states and is usually observed on November 11. It is also celebrated as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in other parts of the world. November 11 is the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. Major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 with the German signing of the Armistice.
Armistice Day was celebrated starting November 1919 until 1954 where is was official changed to Veterans Day and was to include all Veterans of all wars.
Be sure to thank a Veteran for fighting for and protecting your Constitutional Rights. Most important to me are our First and Second Amendment Rights:
- Freedom of Speech
- Freedom of Religion
- Freedom of the Press
- Freedom of Assembly
- Right to Keep and Bear Arms
China, North Korea, Iran, Saudi Arabia, Yemen don’t have that. Many many countries don’t have that. We have our issues, but I have traveled all over the and there is no better country in the world than the United States of America.
There are veteran and war memorials all over the US. Here are four National War Memorials from Washington DC.
World War I Memorial; Washington DC
4,734,991 US Troops deployed; 320,518 killed and wounded; 1917-1918
World War II Memorial; Washington DC
16,112,566 deployed worldwide; 1,077,245 killed and wounded; 1941-1945
Korean War Memorial; Washington DC
5,720,000 deployed worldwide; 157,530 killed and wounded; 1950-1953
Vietnam War Memorial; Washington DC
8,744,000 deployed worldwide; 243,512 killed and wounded; 1964-1975
There are many Iraq and Afghanistan Veteran and War Memorials being built in the US. There is a National Memorial in planning for Washington DC, but I think there are some design issues.
Desert Shield/Desert Storm Memorial; Evansville, IN
694,550 Deployed to the Gulf; 849 killed and wounded; 1990-1991
Operation Enduring Freedom Afghanistan 2001-Present
**Deployed, *1378 killed, *7266Wounded
Operation Iraq Freedom 2003-Present
**Deployed, *4745 Deaths, *31,902 Wounded
Note* – Number totals are based in statistics from icasualties.org
Note** – I could not find a current “Total Number Deployed” If you have a link to that info please send.
Icasualties -Fatalities and wounded stats
Please…do something special for a Veteran today.
Filed under: Amazing Women, Crimes Against Women, Goverment & Politics
Christine Dobbyn – HOUSTON (KTRK) — A Houston woman is telling her story of survival for the first time on camera. She is a former KBR contractor who began working in Iraq in November of 2008.
Anna Mayo says what happened to her one morning in her sleeping quarters changed her life forever. While we don’t normally identify rape victims, the young woman says she wants her story heard.
In the fall of 2008, Anna Mayo left Austin to work as a KBR contractor in Iraq. Within a month, she was promoted to an operations specialist with project management.
“I loved it,” Mayo said. “I moved up really fast; I got a lot of responsibility.”
And then Mayo was moved to the night shift, so that meant sleeping during the day.
“I had a sign on my room that said daysleeper, please come back after 14:00,” she said.
On a November morning in 2009, there was a knock on her sleeping container door. She opened it to find a man she says was not an American.
“He told me that he needed to come in and check something in my bathroom,” Mayo said. (There is more to this story!)
By JOHN CHRISTOFFERSEN, Associated Press – November 8, 2010
NEW HAVEN, Conn. – A Connecticut man was condemned to death Monday for a night of terror inside a suburban home in which a woman was strangled and her two daughters tied to their beds, doused in gasoline and left to die in a fire.
Jurors in New Haven Superior Court voted unanimously to send Steven Hayes to death row after deliberating over the span of four days. Judge Jon Blue will impose the sentence on Dec. 2.
“You have been exposed to images of depravity and horror that no human being should have to see,” Blue said in thanking the jurors for their service.
Dr. William Petit, the husband and father of the victims, said the verdict was not about revenge.
“Vengeance belongs to the Lord,” Petit said. “This is about justice. We need to have some rules in a civilized society.”
He also said it wouldn’t bring closure, saying whoever came up with the concept was “an imbecile.”
“It’s a hole with jagged edges,” he said. “Over time the edges may smooth out a little bit, but the hole in your heart, the hole in your soul is always there.”
Hayes’ attorneys had tried to persuade jurors to spare him the death penalty by portraying him as a clumsy, drug-addicted thief who never committed violence until the 2007 home invasion with a fellow paroled burglar. They called the co-defendant, Joshua Komisarjevsky, the mastermind and said he escalated the violence. They also said Hayes was remorseful and actually wanted a death sentence.
But prosecutors said both men were equally responsible and that the crime cried out for the death penalty, saying the family was tormented for seven hours before they were killed.
Defense attorney Tom Ullmann said Hayes, who had attempted suicide while incarcerated, smiled at the verdict.
“He is thrilled with the verdict. That’s what he wanted all along,” Ullmann said.
Hayes will join nine other men on Connecticut’s death row. The state has only executed one man since 1960, so Hayes will likely spend years, if not decades, in prison.
Komisarjevsky will be tried next year.
Authorities said Hayes and Komisarjevsky broke into the house, beat William Petit, and forced his wife, Jennifer Hawke-Petit, to withdraw money from a bank while the rest of her family remained under hostage at home. Hayes then sexually assaulted and strangled her, authorities said. Komisarjevsky, who will be tried next year, is charged with sexually assaulting their 11-year-old daughter, Michaela.
Michaela and her 17-year-old sister, Hayley, were tied to their beds and doused in gasoline before the men set the house on fire, according to testimony. The girls died of smoke inhalation.
The crime was so unsettling that it became a key issue in the death penalty debate in the governor’s race and led to tougher Connecticut laws for repeat offenders and home invasions. Gov. M. Jodi Rell cited the case when she vetoed a bill that would have abolished the death penalty.
To determine Hayes’ punishment, the jury weighed so-called aggravating factors cited by prosecutors, including the heinous and cruel nature of the deaths, against mitigating factors argued by Hayes’ attorneys.
The jurors were individually polled after the verdict Monday. One woman was crying and confirmed her verdict in a hoarse voice while a male juror said “yes” loudly and with conviction when asked to confirm his. Hayes was alternately looking straight ahead and to the opposite side of the courtroom from jury. His attorney, Tom Ullmann, sat somewhat slumped in his chair.
Petit said he cried at the verdict, “thinking of the tremendous loss.”
“Michaela was an 11-year-old little girl tortured and killed in her own bedroom, surrounded by stuffed animals,” he said, his voice cracking. He said his older daughter, Hayley, had a great future, and his wife, a nurse, had helped many children at the hospitals where she worked.
Ullmann had suggested prison would be more harsh than death for Hayes. Hayes told a psychiatrist he had repeatedly tried to kill himself after the crime because he felt guilty and remorseful and feared isolation in prison the rest of his life.
Hayes’ attorneys focused heavily on Komisarjevsky, even calling a witness who said his “completely dead eyes” made him look like the devil. They cited his writings in which he described how his “dark shadow was let loose” as he beat the doctor and the pleasure he got from terrorizing the man’s wife and two daughters.
Komisarjevsky’s writings, however, also blamed Hayes for escalating the violence by strangling Hawke-Petit.
Prosecutors said it was Hayes who initiated the crime, citing his confession to police in which he said he called Komisarjevsky shortly before the crime because he was financially desperate. They also noted that Hayes took Hawke-Petit to the bank to withdraw money, raped and strangled her, bought the gasoline and poured it in the house.
During the trial, jurors heard eight days of gruesome testimony, saw photos of the victims, charred beds, rope, ripped clothing and ransacked rooms.
Johanna Petit Chapman, William Petit’s sister, said the family sympathized with the jurors for the emotional pain the case inflicted on them as they viewed pictures of the crime scene and heard details of the deaths.
“I was crying on the inside knowing what they were looking at,” she said. “I can’t say enough how badly I feel for them that they got thrust into this because of two people’s decision to go in and just destroy life like that.”
Dolores Carter, one of the jurors, told The Associated Press on Monday that she was tired and mentally exhausted.
“It was a very hard decision. It’s not easy to put someone’s life on the line,” Carter said.
Hayes was convicted of six capital felony charges, three murder counts and two charges of sexually assaulting Hawke-Petit. The capital offenses were for killing two or more people, the killing of a person under 16, murder in the course of a sexual assault and three counts of intentionally causing a death during a kidnapping. He was sentenced to death for all six.
Ullmann and co-counsel Patrick Culligan said the case was treated differently because the victims were white and from the suburbs, and that crimes just as horrific involving minorities haven’t garnered the same media and public attention.
“To my way of thinking, that’s all that these verdicts prove today, that is just how arbitrary and capricious the death penalty is — it varies from case to case and person to person and jury to jury,” Culligan said. (click HERE for the original article)