Honoring Our Veterans on November 11th

 On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month, ninety-eight years ago, the Armistice agreement between Germany and the Allies went into effect, marking the cessation of fighting on the Western Front and the conclusion of the tragic hostilities of World War I.  This day holds a sacred place in our history as a Nation, and in turn, has become a dedicated occasion to commemorate all those members of our community who bravely wore and continue to wear the uniform to protect our safety and security. I am humbled to join people throughout Maine and across the country in honoring the selfless service of our Veterans, and in recognizing the eternal debt we owe them and their dedicated families. 

 While Armistice Day originally commemorated the conclusion of the War that was intended to end all Wars, it also reminds us that today, the United States remains actively engaged in conflicts across the globe. In the vigilant defense of national security and for the preservation of the freedoms we hold dear, our brave Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen continue to serve on behalf of their communities. May their service inspire us, as a community, to rededicate ourselves to the duty of caring for the veterans who have returned home.

 The people of Maine have long embraced this duty, and our state has a hallowed history of sending our sons and daughters to bravely defend the safety, security, and values of the United States of America. With nearly one in ten members of our community having served in the armed forces, Maine has one of the highest numbers of veterans per capita in the country. This spirit of service is evidenced not only in the willingness to wear the uniform, but also in the steadfast commitment of the Maine people to care for those who have returned. 

  To celebrate this commitment, I was honored to join a celebration earlier this year to commemorate the 150th anniversary of the Togus Veterans’ Hospital. As the oldest operating veterans’ hospital in the country, Togus has acted as a groundbreaking model of service and care. Nevertheless, there is still a great deal of work to be done for veterans who struggle with access to healthcare, suffer with unemployment and poverty, or are unable to find affordable housing. Let us join together to honor our brave veterans – and to lend credence to their sacrifices – by reaffirming our commitment to supporting each and every one of them.