Editor’s intro: Veterans Day is this week. A day we pause and honor those who have served and continue to serve our nation. This year we asked United States Navy veteran and ES&S Senior Vice President and CISO Chris Wlaschin to pen a blog in honor of Veterans Day and share some of the ways we all can support and recognize our veterans and their families. Take it away, Chris!
Veterans Day occurs on November 11 every year in the United States in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I, then known as Armistice Day. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name of the holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. The law went into effect in 1971, but in 1975 President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to November 11 due to the important historical significance of the date. Veterans Day commemorates veterans of all wars. In Europe, Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries, it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.
Our armed forces members, both active, reserve and retired, put service before self. That mindset also permeates our culture here at ES&S.
I am happy and humbled that ES&S has chosen to recognize Veterans Day with a company-sponsored day off. Our Veterans working at ES&S and some of their family members who are also veterans are recognized in the video below. These veterans and the family members of those who have served understand the incredible sacrifice all Veterans made to defend our country and democracy.
Our work at ES&S continues this effort, not just for Veterans but for all of you, given the critical role our company plays in supporting democracy. By the way, the flag we fly on top of our building means so much to me as a Veteran.
We encourage employees to use this day off from ES&S to honor all Veterans and their families by doing something that actively supports them. Here are a few examples or suggestions for supporting our Veterans and their families on Veterans Day.
- Wear a red poppy to show support for veteran and active-duty service members.
- Take a vet to lunch — this “Thank you” to former service members will go a long way in making them feel appreciated.
- Organize a morning coffee hour — Organize a morning get-together to honor Veterans in the workplace with a good cup of joe, donuts, and a chance to interact with coworkers.
- Wave the flag — put small flags all around the exterior sidewalks of your house, your office building, along with flags throughout the inside.
- Letters of appreciation — write letters of appreciation to Veteran coworkers or their families
- Attend a parade in your local community
- Contact the VA or local veteran support organizations and ask how you can help
In closing, thank you for all you do for each other, for our company and for our Veterans!
Chris Wlaschin, Lieutenant Commander, US Navy, (Retired)