WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) issued the following statement commemorating Veterans Day 2018:
“This Sunday marks the centennial of one of the most significant moments in U.S. history: the end of the Great War, World War I. The measure of death and destruction wrought by the Great War proved that modern innovations had forever changed the scale and danger of international conflict. World War I gave birth to prominent military installations in Maryland, like Fort Meade and Aberdeen Proving Grounds. Their creation was driven by the need for massive volumes of troops to rapidly train and deploy to the European theater of operations. By war’s end there were approximately 40 million casualties – nearly 2,000 of them were Marylanders.
“As in many conflicts, strong alliances and cooperation against tyranny ultimately prevailed. On November 11, 1918, peace triumphed. This day is now what we know as Veterans Day, and it is just one of the many opportunities for us to recognize the great contributions our service members have made to our country throughout its history. Whether it was during the Revolutionary War or Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq, our veterans have stood strong in the face of danger and have secured our freedoms and interests at great personal risk and sacrifice.
“That is why our veterans deserve to have the many promises we have made to them kept. They deserve the job training, education assistance and housing benefits they have earned. They deserve every tool and resource they need to succeed both professionally and personally once they return home, including, most of all, quality health care. If we are serious about providing our veterans the support they deserve, mental health services must be part of that care, as far too many veterans struggle in silence with the trauma of what they witness during their service.
“Above all, our veterans deserve leaders who consider their sacrifice every day, not only on Veterans Day. So let us honor our veterans in ways that are truly befitting their service: by vowing to protect the benefits they have earned. By pledging to remain grateful for their service and concerned for their needs every day of the year. And, critically, by committing ourselves to the American values of freedom, equality and justice for which they served.
“To all the veterans who remain with us and all those who have passed on, today we salute you and your families for your courage and the personal sacrifices you made on our behalf. Thank you for your service. The United States of America is the prosperous, free nation it is today because of you.”