As I have communicated previously, Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th of each year and honors those individuals who have served in our armed services. Specifically, Americans honor the anniversary of the end of World War I; which officially ended major hostilities at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, when the armistice with Germany went into effect. For nearly 100 years, our nation has taken time to reflect upon the humbling sacrifices made by our veterans.
Today, there are more than 21 million veterans, 1.3 million active duty service members and more than 830,000 reservists, who have served or are serving their country. These men and women chose to suspend their personal freedoms in order to secure the joint freedoms of the American people and to guarantee the future of the American dream. Not unlike our own profession, the burden of their sacrifice is not borne by our veterans alone, but by their spouses, families and loved ones. To our veterans, our service members and all those who support them, a special thank you is extended.
While Veterans Day represents the sacrifices our armed service members and their families have made to protect our freedoms, many members of our own fire and rescue service have made, and continue to make, a dual sacrifice in serving both our communities and our country. Our MCFRS veterans have earned a unique position on the altar of freedom that our founding fathers so cherished. A glance at any headline or newscast reminds us all of the fragile nature of these freedoms.
During my tenure as your Chief, I continue to enjoy the regular praises of a grateful community and many of our political representatives. This appreciation is a direct result of the positive impacts each of you make on our citizens’ lives. These moments remind me how proud I am to be a member of the Montgomery County and Fire Rescue Service. As sworn public servants, we each enjoy a portion of the honor and respect bestowed upon all uniformed services by those who have served before us. Veterans Day is one of the designated opportunities each year to remember the true costs associated with that honor and respect.
For those who will serve in our stations this Veterans Day, I am confident you will assure the continued readiness of our resources to meet the calls that will surely come. I encourage both our chief officers and station officers to monitor and support this readiness while affording our on-duty personnel an opportunity to reflect upon the many sacrifices that our veterans have made to guarantee our freedoms. I encourage all personnel to personally thank and do something special this Veterans Day to honor a past or present armed services veteran.
As a service, we can offer no higher respect than to proudly fly the United States flag honorably at all our worksites. In that spirit, I would like to offer a suggestion to all of our worksite managers and station commanders that I practiced when I served as a station commander. That is, to change flags two times per year; Veterans Day and Memorial Day which coincidentally are about six-months apart. This regular practice will bestow the respect and honor to both our service veterans and the general public we so proudly serve.
Continue your excellent work and thank you for your commitment.
Yours in service,
Steven E. Lohr
Montgomery County Fire & Rescue Service