In November 1918, fighting ceased in World War I when an armistice between the Allied nations and Axis powers went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 as Armistice Day the following year and the commemoration eventually became known as Veterans Day—a celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
As a 32-year U.S. Navy veteran, this holiday is particularly important to me.
Last week, I participated in an event at Seneca Creek State Park, where I joined U.S. Senator Ben Cardin and Warrior Canine Connection Executive Director Rick Yount for a roundtable discussion on veterans’ health. We heard firsthand from veterans re-acclimating to society.
The Warrior Canine Connection is a non-profit organization that trains service dogs for veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder or traumatic brain injury. The innovative program also offers art and music therapy and plans to develop equine, farming and gardening therapy at its new headquarters located on Seneca Creek State Park grounds. The organization partnered with the department and Maryland Park Service on a long-term lease agreement.
he Maryland Department of Natural Resources is committed to providing our servicemen and women with unique opportunities to enjoy the outdoors. We host and organize events for military families and veterans throughout the year, including Vacations for Vets, Operation Campout, Warrior Hikes, the annual Paralyzed Veterans of America Bass Tour and several other important programs. In fact, our state parks offer free entry for active duty military with valid identification and disabled veterans may apply for our universal disability pass for free lifetime access.
In celebration of Veterans Day, the Department of Natural Resources is hosting its annual Veterans Day Program on Monday, November 9 at 12 p.m. noon in Annapolis. Maryland Veterans Affairs Secretary George W. Owings III and I will honor our veterans’ service. For more information and to R.S.V.P., please contact Director of Fair Practices Richard Allen.
I’m grateful to those who have served before me, those who are currently serving and those to come. Please keep America’s unsung heroes in your thoughts and prayers, and honor their service and sacrifice this Veterans Day today and every day.
Natural Resources Secretary