Veterans Days Should Be A Day Of Thanks To Those Who Serve

A day when we remember veterans and those who keep the U.S. safe.

Today, is Veterans Day a time when we thank those who are serving in our military around the world keeping us safe. We also thank those who have come how, those who may be physically or mentally effected from combat.

It is a day to remember those both living and dead who have fought our freedom from World War I through our latest conflicts in the Middle East. Now for a little bit of history about the day it’s self as well as the sacrifice our troops have made over the years.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, the state of Florida has the third largest population of veterans in the nation after California and Texas with more than 1.6 million veterans – 12 percent of the Sunshine State’s population 18 and over.

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Wartime veterans make up about 75 percent of Florida’s total veteran population (1.2 million). There are more Vietnam-era vets than any other wartime category in Florida with more than 498,000.

There are more than 231,000 veterans of Afghanistan and Iraq who claim Florida as their home of record. Florida has more than 160,000 women vets.

Florida has the largest population of World War II veterans in the nation with more than 164,000. Florida has the third largest population of disabled veterans in the nation with more than 249,000.

There are more than 731,000 veterans over the age of 65 in the Sunshine State.There are 187,000 military retirees who call Florida home.

According to the United States Army Veterans Day, formerly known as Armistice Day, was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.

It has been observed each year since and the most powerful tradition is that the sitting president goes to Arlington National Cemetery to put a wreath at the tomb of the Unknowns.

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Some interesting items according to the Office of Veterans Affairs, overran estimated 500,000 military personnel died during the U.S. Civil War. That is a little less than twice the population of the city of St. Petersburg to put that number in context.

The total number of men and women who died in all wars since the Civil War tops the 1.2 million mark. That is roughly the population of everyone who lives from St. Petersburg to Orlando.

According to the United States Defense Department figures, out of a nation of 320 million people, 1.3 million Americans are in active duty military, and another 1 million serve in the reserves.

Compare that to during World War II, about 12 percent of the total U.S. population were a part of the armed forces, according to Census Bureau and Department of Defense data. And while fewer service members enlisted during the Vietnam War.

So, now more than ever we need to understand and appreciate the service of our men and women in the United States military. Those, who serve now, in the past and those living or those who died serving our country.




Jim Williams is the Washington Bureau Chief, Digital Director as well as the Director of Special Projects for Genesis Communications. He is starting his third year as part of the team. This is Williams 40th year in the media business, and in that time he has served in a number of capacities. He is a seven time Emmy Award winning television producer, director, writer and executive. He has developed four regional sports networks, directed over 2,000 live sporting events including basketball, football, baseball hockey, soccer and even polo to name a few sports. Major events include three Olympic Games, two World Cups, two World Series, six NBA Playoffs, four Stanley Cup Playoffs, four NCAA Men’s National Basketball Championship Tournaments (March Madness), two Super Bowl and over a dozen college bowl games. On the entertainment side Williams was involved s and directed over 500 concerts for Showtime, Pay Per View and MTV Networks.