Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Memorial Day Afterthoughts

Memorial Day has come and gone, proper honor and respect were made across our great
country. We all thought about and prayed for those who paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Our heroes should never be forgotten, every day should be Memorial Day. Each life
lost is a sacred thing, and the list grows longer each day.

The American Cold War Veterans are very much aware of this, we feel the pain, our
thoughts and prayers go to each family that lost a loved one, as well as those
who are injured or maimed. Any one is one too many.

Yet we have another request; another day added to the calender to honor veterans.
We are still pushing for a Cold War Veterans Recognition Day, which we almost had
this year.

The House passed unanimously H.Res.900
In the House of Representatives, U. S.,

March 21, 2010.

Whereas the Cold War involved hundreds of military exercises and operations that occurred between September 2, 1945, and December 26, 1991;

Whereas millions of Americans valiantly stood watch as members of the Armed Forces during the Cold War; and

Whereas many Americans sacrificed their lives during the Cold War in the cause of defeating communism and promoting world peace and stability: Now, therefore, be it

Resolved, That the House of Representatives--

(1) honors the sacrifices and contributions made by members of the Armed Forces during the Cold War; and

(2) encourages the people of the United States to participate in local and national activities honoring the sacrifices and contributions of those individuals.

While the American Cold War Veterans were pleased and thank the House of Representatives
for this bill, it fell just a little bit short; it did not actually specify a day
when these activities were to take place.

So please contact your elected officials and ask them to introduce legislation that
would create a Cold War Veterans Recognition Day. We had been asking for May 1, since
several individual states have declared May 1 as Cold War Victory Day.

There has been some opposition to this date, the old "Russian May Day", the date is tied to unions, etc. another date may be more palatable to the powers in Washington.
Some have suggested Nov 11 or other dates. While we would prefer May 1, we may have
to bow to pressures upon our elected officials and accept something different.

And that brings to my mind..who remembers that May 8,is V-E day,or Victory in Europe.
Then depending on actual facts August 15 or September 2 is V-J Day or Victory over Japan. August 15 is the day Japan surrendered, and September 2 is when the treaty was signed.

Sad to say that these events are not mentioned on most calenders. One has to ask why?
Are we as a country ashamed that we won WWII? Are we as a nation afraid to say that
we did defeat our enemy?

Could that be part of the reason for no Cold War Veteran Recognition Day? Are we
ashamed that we won the Cold War? Do we not want to antagonize our one-time enemy, even
though the Soviet Union no longer exists?

It is time to stand up, to recognize and honor the Cold War Veterans of our country,
without them the world would be a different place. Or possibly there would be no
world if the wrong finger had been on the button. We were always close to assured
mutual destruction, nuclear war and the end of the world.

So let us now thank these brave men and women, tell Congress to authorize the Cold War
Service Medal; which is in the Senate version of the National Defense Authorization
Act 2011. Ask them to cosponsor and vote yes on S.2743 and H.R. 4051, identical bills
The Cold War Service Medal Act 2009; we need more cosponsors to ensure Cold Warriors
finally receive some honor and respect. And ask them to create a Cold War Veteran Recognition Day.

Jerald Terwilliger
National Chairman
American Cold War Veterans
"We Remember"