This week I was honored to attend a Veteran’s Day ceremony at the State Capitol hosted by the governor. Unfortunately, due to our special session going on now in Atlanta, I will not be able to attend Veterans Day events back home, but I’d like to share with you some of my thoughts on Veterans Day.
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 11:00 AM, 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 700,000 veterans, and we have more than 88,000 reserve and active-duty members living in Georgia. We have ten military installations in our state and the sixth-largest National Guard population in the United States, with around 14,000 members. As a former National Guard member myself, I have watched with great pride and respect as our current National Guard members serve our state and citizens both at home and abroad.
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. Additionally, we are protected by our National Guard service members and Reservists.
Since the American Revolutionary War, nearly 42 million people have lost their lives to defend a way of life that we hold dear - to defend our right to free speech, religious liberty, and right to bear arms. The longevity of the American way of life is not accidental. The American way of life has been maintained through the blood, sweat, tears, and lives of generations of American servicemen and women.
On Wednesday, November 3, the House and Senate gaveled into Session for our fall Special Session to handle redistricting. I am sure many of you have seen that proposed maps have been shared that will reconfigure State House, State Senate, and US Congressional districts. As I am writing this newsletter, neither the House nor the Senate has voted on finalized maps for the State House, the State Senate, or Georgia’s Congressional seats. If you are interested in following along with the process or viewing the proposed maps, you can visit the Legislative and Congressional Reapportionment Office website. This is an important process, and I hope you all will follow along as we create fair maps for all Georgians.
As you all move forward through your week, please take a moment to thank a veteran for their 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. As always, 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.