Air Force Featured Stories

Goldfein honors veterans during event at Quantico National Cemetery

  • Published
  • By Tech. Sgt. Dan DeCook
  • Secretary of the Air Force Public Affairs
Chief of Staff of the Air Force Gen. David L. Goldfein honored veterans during a keynote speech at Quantico National Cemetery Veterans Day Ceremony in Quantico, Virginia, Nov. 11, 2017.

“Our nation is rich with heritage and tradition, and few surpass that of honoring our veterans, both alive and passed,” said Goldfein. “This is one of our greatest traditions; and, as one of many veterans in my family, I am honored to be here.”

The Veterans Day ceremony at Quantico National Cemetery is an annual event hosted by the Potomac Region Veterans Council. More than 100 veterans and their families attended this year’s event featuring performances by the Quantico Marine Corps Band and color guard.

“No matter how or when you served, you are part of a family; and that’s what these kind of ceremonies are all about – family,” said Army (Ret) First Sgt. Julio Santiago. “We come together to honor our brothers and sisters, we come together to honor those who came before us, and we come together to show those who come after us that there is honor in serving this great country.”

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the celebration of Veterans Day honors America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.

“We are woven by the good, the bad and the ugly times experienced together. For some it is the uncommon valor, for others it is the quiet peace,” said Goldfein. “Our Veterans have a love for this great nation and the sacred duty of protecting it. These are the most humble men and women who are just doing their job.”

Veterans Day was originally known as “Armistice Day” after World War I fighting ceased at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month – Nov. 11, 1918.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in November 1919. After World War II and the Korean Conflict, Congress approved changing the name from “Armistice Day” to “Veterans Day,” marking Nov. 11 as a day to honor all American veterans, wherever and whenever they served.

“Today, we celebrate a single mark on the calendar—one of many—but this mark celebrates the noble acts of a noble group,” said Goldfein. “I’m reminded each day that it’s a privilege and honor to serve our country, and I am inspired by a distinguished population who so proudly came before…and those who so selflessly followed.”