Living during this hectic age can make it difficult to find time for reflection and appreciation. Many of us are bombarded by constant stimuli in our day-to-day activities that can distract from what is truly important. Wednesday, November 11th, marks the 96th celebration of Veterans Day in the United States and it grants us the opportunity to take a break from our frenzied lives to contemplate and appreciate those who have served to protect our country.
Veterans Day was born in 1919, when President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11th Armistice Day. By 1947, the definition of the holiday included not only soldiers who fought in World War I, but veterans of all wars. The name of the holiday was officially changed to Veterans Day in 1954. Today, we celebrate the service of over 21 million veterans of the United States Armed Services.
What is the meaning of Veterans Day? The U.S. Department of Veteran’s Affairs defines Veterans Day as “A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.” Across the country, parades are held to publicly celebrate veterans for their service. Aside from public demonstrations, Veterans Day should be an opportunity to contemplate not only how to show public support, but how to also actively help veterans upon their return from service.
According to an article by the Military Times, the public’s perception of veterans has changed over time. The article believes that while the public once looked at veterans as “broken heroes,”
they now view the veteran community as dynamic and robust. In part, this shift in perception is due to more realistic portrayals of veterans in film. While some veterans indeed struggle upon their return, and that segment of the veteran population certainly deserves our attention, many are ready to join the public sector and become a working part of the solution to many of the problems our nation faces. Veterans come to the public sector with unique backgrounds and their experience can be utilized as a major asset.
The Nebraska Manufacturing Advisory Council believes that manufacturing jobs are a perfect fit for veterans. The “Department of Defense reports that finding employment is their number-one need when returning home,” therefore, it becomes important to find a sector in which veterans are most likely to succeed. Veterans can seamlessly transition into manufacturing jobs because of their experience with military manufacturing, their comfort in working as a team, and their familiarity with the rigors of hard work.
Automotive manufacturing, specifically, is a great fit for veterans. The auto industry is enjoying a spectacular year in terms of sales, which has led to an influx of automotive jobs. In the next 5 years, it is expected that between 1 and 1.5 million military personnel will leave the military and many of them will be looking to break into a new career. As a result of their service, veterans are well-suited for a career in the automotive industry.
We at Elio Motors wish to honor all those who have sacrificed so much for our freedoms, however veterans should not only be remembered on federal holidays or during times of military action, but should be in our thoughts year-round. Whether this means helping struggling veterans, or assisting them in their transition into the public sector, it is imperative that veterans become a mainstay in our national conversations. With their service, veterans have shown their willingness to serve and protect their country. Upon their return, it is time to return the favor.