WASHINGTON – The Honorable R. James Nicholson, Secretary of Veterans Affairs, and leaders of major veterans organizations today called on America's veterans to help kindle a new spark of patriotism on Veterans Day by wearing the medals they earned during military service.
"We are announcing a Veterans Pride Initiative to remind Americans of the pride and honor in the hearts of those who have served," Nicholson said. "We expect Americans will see our decorated heroes unite in spirit at ceremonies, in parades and elsewhere as a compelling symbol of courage and sacrifice on Veterans Day, the day we set aside to thank those who served and safeguarded our national security."
The campaign is modeled after a tradition in Australia and New Zealand, countries who honor the Australian and New Zealand Army Corps (ANZAC) on April 25. ANZAC Day sees veterans wearing their military decorations whatever they are doing on that day. Nicholson said he hopes a U. S. tradition will ensue to emulate this pride in being a veteran and in honoring our veterans.
VA is offering information about the campaign on its Web page, http://www.va.gov/veteranspride/, where veterans also can obtain information about how to replace mislaid medals and learn how to confirm the decorations to which they are entitled.