With so many eyes focused on an Election Season that has taken shape unlike any I have seen before, it is even more critical that we honor those who have fought to preserve our American way of life. In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 to be the first annual commemoration of Armistice Day. Although World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, several months prior on November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., the Allied nations and Germany agreed to cease hostilities temporarily — an armistice.
In 1938, November 11 was made a legal holiday, Armistice Day, and intended to honor World War I veterans. In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, the day was changed to Veterans Day and designated to celebrate and honor all Americans who have served.
Our state is blessed to be home to over 600,000 veterans, and we have active military bases for the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marines within our borders.
These brave men and women who have served our country so faithfully deserve our honor and our support, not just on Veterans Day but every day of the year.
One of the small ways that we in Georgia honor our veterans is through Veterans’ Driver’s Licenses for those who have served.
This year, we added an important new category of veterans who are entitled to this honor.
During the Vietnam War, around 500,000 South Korean soldiers fought alongside our American soldiers. Many of these brave South Koreans have since moved to the United States, and a large number of them have moved to Georgia, becoming United States citizens.
My friend Chairman Bill Hitchens, a Vietnam Veteran himself, sponsored House Bill 819.
HB 819 authorizes the state to issue veterans’ licenses to any Georgian who is a United States citizen and served in the military of an ally of the United States during a time of war where United States troops were involved in the conflict. This special piece of legislation applies to many conflicts, including the Vietnam War, the Korean War, and Desert Storm, among others.
Affording the right to receive a Veteran’s License to those who have fought alongside our brave men and women in the American armed forces is a wonderful way to honor their service.
Please take a moment this week to thank a veteran for his or her service to our country. Their service assures us the freedoms that we all enjoy will continue for our children and grandchildren.
Thank you all for allowing me to represent Georgia House District 159. It is truly an honor to work for you and this great state.
If you have any feedback, do not hesitate to call (404) 656-5052, email, or engage on Facebook. If you would like to receive email updates, please visit my website to sign up for my newsletter or email me.
Jon Burns represents District 159 in the Georgia General Assembly, where he serves as the House majority leader.