Robert L. DilenschneiderRobert L. Dilenschneider

"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."

-John Fitzgerald Kennedy

On Sunday we celebrated Veterans Day (originally known as Armistice Day).

A national holiday since 1938, it is a day when we pause to honor all those who have served our nation in war and peace in the U.S. Armed Forces.

In the U.S., Veterans Day is celebrated every November 11, the day that World War I hostilities formally ended (at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month).

There are currently 18.2 million military veterans in the United States—1.6 million of them women.

Fifty percent of our veterans are 65 and over; 8.9 percent are younger than 25.

Ever since the end of World War II, the U.S. has been the defender of freedom and democracy around the world, often stepping forward when others were reluctant to make commitments. As a part of that historic mission, our nation’s military is now deployed in more than 150 countries.

There is also a large troop deployment under way to address security at the U.S. southern border.

Great Britain, France, Australia and Canada also commemorate the veterans of World War I and World War II on or near November 11: Canada has Remembrance Day, while Britain marks Remembrance Sunday on the second Sunday of November.

In Great Britain and the Commonwealth countries as well as many parts of Europe, it is common to observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. every November 11.

As we move toward the start of the holiday season, take a moment to honor our brave men and women in uniform and thank them for their service to this great nation. We must never forget their contributions.


Robert L. Dilenschneider is founder and chairman of The Dilenschneider Group, a global public relations and communications consulting firm headquartered in New York City. The former CEO of Hill and Knowlton, Inc., he is also author of more than a dozen books, including the best-selling “Power and Influence.”