November 11 has been celebrated as Veterans Day in the US since Congress renamed the holiday from Armistice Day (celebrating the end of World War I) and declared it to be a holiday to honor all Veterans in 1954. As long as there has been an America, there have been Jewish veterans; from the Revolutionary War forward to Iraq and Afghanistan. And, in most of our wars, the proportion of Jewish people serving has been much greater than the proportion of Jews in the general population. This is true in America, and probably true in most countries where Jews were/are allowed to serve in their military. (Jews even served, as we found out at Tuesday night’s BJCC Book Fair event, Lives of Hitler’s Jewish Soldiers, in the military of the Third Reich.)
Boulder Jewish News would like to give you the opportunity to honor and recognize our Jewish Veterans on this Veterans Day 2009. Post a comment below, naming your veteran(s) and providing as much information as you’d like to share: their country, military branch and years of service; what wars, if any, they participated in; and any other interesting story you’d like to share about them with our Jewish community.
The Jewish War Veterans of the USA organization’s website has many resources available for Jewish war veterans and people looking for more information about Jews in the military. There is even more interesting information at the National Museum of American Jewish Military History site.
The Jewish National Fund (JNF) has begun an effort to create a fitting tribute and memorial to Jews all over the world who served or are serving in their country’s military. The Wall of Honor at Ammunition Hill in Jerusalem is “a tribute to the heroism and courage of Jewish soldiers who, throughout history, have fought in defense of their countries far beyond their proportions to the general population.” This wall is part of a broader project to renovate the Ammunition Hill battleground site and its museum, and to create a computerized datacenter, a library, an archive, an exhibition hall, and a center for assemblies and conferences. More information on this very interesting project can be found at this link on the JNF site, and here is the video explaining the project and the site:
Celebrate all our Veterans today by flying a flag at your house, and posting your Jewish veterans’ stories here at the BJN.