Updated: December 11, 2012 6:06AM
On Sunday — for the 94th time — we mark the end of the war to end all wars. And we thank Lake County’s veterans.
If only the first Armistice Day had turned out to be what people at the time thought — that it marked the end of “the war to end all wars.”
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. The armistice marking the cessation of hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
Veterans Day in America celebrates all the men and women who have served, and are serving, in our military. And even those whom service left unscathed merit our thanks. Their very act of serving means they were willing to risk injury and death to serve the nation. Thankfully, they were spared to return home to be citizens, parents, workers, builders.
Traditionally, Americans observe a moment of silence at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11. That’s one way of saying thank you, but the best way to thank veterans is by making a commitment to hire them.
Currently, the unemployment rate for the nation’s veterans is 6.3 percent, according to the U.S. Department of Labor. The jobless rate among Iraq and Afghanistan veterans remains high and will rise as the nation winds down more than a decade of war.
According to Iraq & Afghanistan Veterans of America, there are nearly two million veterans who served in one of these two countries — most of them between 17 and 25 years old. All in all, Iraq and Afghanistan veterans represent about 7.5 percent of the veteran population in the U.S.
Over the next years, tens of thousands of transitioning service members will need to find jobs. They will need help with job search strategies, resume writing and showing them how to market their military training into good-paying civilian jobs. They’ve fought in some pretty extreme conditions. They shouldn’t have to fight for work as civilians.