Honoring Military on 11-11

Saints_Victory BellsOn the 11th hour of the 11th day on the 11th month of 1918, the world could breathe easier because the major hostilities of World War I formally ended. From that day forward Americans celebrated and still honor their military members for their sacrifices and service to the nation.

Many restaurants and organizations throughout the country help Americans celebrate this day of honor for the nation’s former and current servicemen and women. One such organization is the National Football League.

The NFL honors military members during games and other events throughout November with a campaign they call “Salute to Service.” During opening ceremonies, the military branches present their respective flags and the national ensign in an honor guard, and some members even have the potential chance to run on the field with players at the beginning of the game.

FN Mike Quinones“As I stood in the tunnel with Darrius Heyward-Bey, of the Indianapolis Colts, the feeling was surreal,” said Seaman Mike Quinones, a deckhand on the Coast Guard Cutter Chippewa. “I was a bit nervous before running out onto the field, but just being there was a great honor.”

Quinones attened the Colts-Rams game with other members of Coast Guard Sector Ohio Valley.

Another way is during halftime shows. Members from each branch of the military help unfurl a large American Flag on the field.

Halftime, often synonymous with boredom, stoppage of excitement, commercial breaks and time-filler circus acts, is also when teams get refreshments and their backsides chewed out, whether winning or losing, while the spectators retreat to the concession stands or restrooms.

However, the salute to veterans’ ceremony during the Cowboys-Saints game Nov. 10, the stands in the Superdome defied convention and remained full as several sections stood in appreciation. Standing near the 20-yard line, one could sense an avalanche of admiration while the whistles, applause and roar of the crowd cascaded down to the field.

This expression of admiration not only took place at the Superdome but also in other football stadiums around the country as fans and NFL teams honored the men and women in the Armed Forces.

“One of the best parts of the whole experience was the crowd … the crowd was louder than I could ever imagine,” said Quinones, recalling the memory of being honored with other servicemembers in the Colts’ stadium. “Seeing all those people in the stands cheering for us servicemembers, it made me feel extremely proud to represent our country and service.”

In America’s heartland alone there are multiple NFL teams, 11 of which are in the 8th Coast Guard District. Those 11 teams, in some form or fashion, have and are honoring servicemen and women throughout November by working with the Wounded Warrior Project, USO, Veteran Affairs Medical Centers and other military-affiliated organizations.

The Houston Texans, for example, held a barbecue and open practice for the USO, Wounded Warrior Project and Lone Star Veterans Association with a performance from USO Liberty Bells for military members in the Houston area.

Nov. 11 is a day to remember and honor the men and women of the Coast Guard, Army, Navy, Marine Corps and Air Force for their many sacrifices and service to Americans.

On the 11th day of the 11th month each year Americans, restaurants and organizations throughout the country honor the men and women who have served or are currently serving the nation. It’s a day of recognizing the front line protectors of America.
Saints_Thank You

Even though Veterans’ Day has passed this year, honor those men and women, who’ve sacrificed a lot to serve the nation, by giving them a simple show of thanks.

Here’s to all you veterans that have served or are still serving our nation.

Thank you.

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