WASHINGTON – U.S. Senator Ben Cardin (D-Md.) released the following statement in honor of Veterans Day, which is Saturday, November 11, with the official federal holiday on Friday, November 10.
“On this Veterans Day, I want to express my profound admiration for the unwavering service and sacrifices of our veterans. Their commitment to our nation, its people, and the values we hold dear transcends generations. Democracy requires constant vigilance, and it is facing tough challenges at home and abroad. Despots and authoritarians worldwide would like nothing more than to see us retreat from defending freedom. But in the face of adversity, the United States stands resilient thanks to the courageous men and women who have worn the uniform.
“From the American Revolution where the Maryland Line fought bravely under General George Washington to the defense of Fort McHenry in Baltimore that inspired the Star-Spangled Banner during the war of 1812, to today where Maryland is home to almost 400,000 veterans, our state has a proud history of fighting for freedom.
“Our veterans are among the best our country has produced. Each one answered the call to serve their country, leaving friends and family to go in harm’s way. In today’s divisive world, I especially want to thank our veterans for coming together from all walks of life to serve a purpose greater than themselves. Our veterans come from all over the country, from all backgrounds, races, and religions. Time and time again, veterans put their country before themselves and make sacrifices that most Americans do not even realize. They miss birthdays, anniversaries, births, funerals, and countless other life events so they can stand guard on the front lines of our nation’s defense.
“Most service members volunteer to join the military not long after graduating high school or college. Some serve a few years, and others make the military a career. All of them have earned the title of veteran.
“In Maryland, prominent military installations stretch across the state from Aberdeen Proving Ground in the north to Patuxent River in the south. Marylanders have always answered the call when our liberties have been attacked. During World War II, Maryland produced over 5,000 B-26 Marauder aircrafts that bombed Nazi fortifications in advance of Allied landings on D-Day. Baltimore’s shipyards built 384 Liberty cargo ships during the war to transport troops and supplies to Europe. Marylanders have stood shoulder-to-shoulder, unphased in the face of monumental challenges.
“Marylanders from across the state continue to volunteer to serve our country, both overseas and at home with our active-duty military components, reserves, and National Guard units. Our veterans’ dedication to country and democracy is felt around the world. Unfortunately, many of our veterans know all too well the cost of war. Our brave men and women continue to serve their communities even after their time in uniform is over.
“Our veterans are humble patriots and while I know they appreciate the public thanking them for their service, I want to encourage each Marylander to go a step further this Veterans Day: shop at a veteran owned business, donate to a veteran’s charity, hire a veteran for your company, or call a veteran and ask them to share stories about their time in the service. Our veterans are among the most highly trained, educated, and responsible citizens, and their skills make them incredibly valued members of their communities and their companies. On this Veterans Day – and every day of the year — put your thoughts into action and show our veterans how much we truly appreciate their service.”