Veterans Plaque (copy)

A plaque thanks all those who serve and dedicates the garden around it to past and current service members. The plaque and garden was dedicated in November 2011. It is located between Fell and Williams Hall. 

On Nov. 11, 1918, Armistice Day was set as a national holiday to honor the end of World War I and those who served in the war.

Legislation was passed 36 years later to change the name to Veterans Day, making it a day to honor all American veterans. 

While Veterans Day does have its ties to violence and a war known as the “war to end all wars,” the meaning and purpose behind the national holiday don’t reflect either of these things. 

The national holiday serves as a reminder for those who have fought, who continue to fight and who want to fight for our country.

It serves as a reminder of the peace, togetherness and freedom that we have been blessed with throughout history. 

So today, we honor those who have served and protected our country in war. We honor those who fought for our freedom then and now. 

However, it is important that we remember that the nation’s veterans are human beings too— many of whom come back from serving our country with psychological and mental health issues. 

From post-traumatic stress disorders or depression to brain traumatic injuries and everything in between, many veterans often don't receive the proper mental treatment after coming home from combat.

Research shows that about two-thirds of veterans suffering from current suicidal ideation weren’t getting mental health treatment. 

The high rates of these mental health issues in returning soldiers and the visible scars to these mental health issues should remind us that there is more damage being done than meets the eye when it comes to serving your country. 

While there are veterans who do receive mental health treatment, it is important that every soldier is able to receive this treatment and is given the proper resources to access it when they return home. 

More must be done to help these men and women cope with the mental toll and effects of war. 

While the national holiday looked a little different last year due to the coronavirus, thank the people you know who served or are serving this country by doing a little bit more. 

Giving these men and women access to these resources and treatment is one of the many ways we can truly honor them this Veterans Day.

KELLIE FOY is Editor in Chief for The Vidette. She can be contacted at vidette_kafoy1@ilstu.edu  Follow Foy on Twitter at @kellie_foy  


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