Aderholt: Veterans Day is one of the most important national holidays we celebrate
Veterans Day not only enjoys strong support across Alabama, but it actually has its roots here. The idea of a national holiday in honor of all veterans, of war as well as of peace, has its origins here in our State. In 1945, Raymond Weeks of Birmingham first proposed changing Armistice Day, which was then set aside to honor World War I veterans, to one to honor all who served. our nation.
He first saw the idea with success here in Alabama, when the very first Veterans Day celebration took place in 1947. Several years later, Raymond presented this idea to President Dwight D. Eisenhower, who promulgated it in 1954. We have observed this day on November 11 in every year for the past 61 years. And Weeks is known as the “Father of Veterans Day”.
I believe Veterans Day is one of the most important national holidays we celebrate. The courageous men and women who dressed in uniform and served our country are among the most patriotic and selfless Americans who have ever lived. They sacrificed so much for our country, and we owe them a debt of gratitude. Observing Veterans Day is one way to do it, but we can also do more. Specifically, we can honor our veterans by ensuring that their sacrifices have helped the U.S. military remain the greatest on Earth.
However, we also need to understand that these sacrifices can be fragile and fleeting. As President Reagan said, “Freedom is never more than a generation from extinction.” Therefore, we must always be ready to defend freedom both at home and abroad.
At this point, as a member of the Congressional Defense Appropriations subcommittee, I am honored to play a role in securing vital federal funding for our military. I can say with confidence that at this time, a top priority for our nation must be to strengthen our defense and provide our military with all the resources necessary to defend our land from adversaries. It is clear that some potential adversaries are investing quickly in weapon systems, including expensive hardware testing. If we let the United States fall behind, the costs of these consequences will not be greater than if we had retained our advantage.
If we look to countries like China and Russia, we know that these countries are already capable of producing advanced missiles. In addition, North Korea is trying to join Russia and China as a nuclear power. In addition, Russia is not effectively blocking cyber attacks that operate within the Russian sphere of influence. Cyber is the new field of war, and the United States must be a leader, not a follower in terms of cyber capability.
North Korea recently resumed missile testing and is rapidly expanding its capabilities. Specifically, they tested the launch of medium-range missiles from newly developed submarines and trains designed to evade US interceptors. North Korea’s aggression against South Korea and Japan has led many to conclude that these two nations, allies of the United States, are at high risk of attack while these weapons are perfected. Meanwhile, North Korea’s “space” program seems more aligned with the goal of intercontinental ballistic missile weapons capabilities.
We know that China has long been strengthening its defense capabilities, but the recent progress it has made is shocking. Last month, the Chinese Communist Party launched a low-orbit hypersonic missile that circled the world undetected. Although China claims it is a spacecraft, the threat is that an orbiting object like this, designed to be a weapon, could strike US ground forces or US aircraft carriers. anywhere on the globe. With or without a nuclear warhead, it is a potentially crippling threat. It is an arms race that the United States did not start, but it is a race that we cannot afford to ignore. Testing and production must increase dramatically.
The United States needs strong defense, which means providing the resources and funding to remain the largest army on Earth. Northern Alabama is leading the way for US hypersonic efforts. Last month I attended the grand opening of Lockheed Martin’s new hypersonic missile plant in Courtland, 4th Congressional District. Engineers from the military and the private sector in Alabama regularly work in partnership with the Navy on design and testing. Huntsville plays a key role in the defense industry, and staying at the forefront of defense development is essential to protecting the United States.
But more than all of this, we know that the world scene is constantly changing when it comes to military capabilities, and it is vital that the United States is a leader on all fronts. If we do this, we are preparing for the future and honoring all those who have helped us get there. And that is, I believe, the best tribute we can pay to our veterans. By showing them that their sacrifice and bravery were not in vain, but rather that they propelled us past our adversaries and helped carry on the tradition of American military excellence.
So as we celebrate and honor our veterans this year, it is important to look to the future while thanking those who have protected us in the past. Veterans Day has its origins here in Alabama, and it is Alabama that will continue to support our veterans and active-duty service members with the best support and tools possible.
Hope you all have a safe and blessed Veterans Day. And to those who served, thank you and God bless you!
US Representative Robert Aderholt (AL-04) is a Republican from Haleyville.