Sunday marked the official celebration of Veterans Day in this nation. Many businesses and employers, including the State of Missouri, will observe that holiday on Monday, Nov. 12, by closing offices and allowing employees time to honor those who have served our country.

What began as Armistice Day by order of President Woodrow Wilson on Nov. 11, 1919, the holiday was changed several times over the years. Finally in 1954, its current designation honoring all veterans of all wars was instituted.

I have felt the pride in all the various celebrations and parades over the years, as these honored veterans bask in the love of a simple handshake from a boy too young to remember those sacrifices, to the elderly citizens who stand tall as the marches go by on the streets.

In times of war and peace, our military is our strength. We rely on them for our protection and our peace of mind. They are the backbone of our great nation. All of the men and women who serve selflessly for America’s freedom should be honored and acknowledged on Veterans’ Day.

This year, take some time out to think about the cost of freedom and the great men and women who stand every day to protect our way of life. If you see a member of the armed forces in your local store or on the street, take a moment to thank them for their service and dedication. We celebrate this occasion once a year, but we don’t need a national holiday to make our veterans feel honored.

Always feel free to contact me throughout the year with any comments, questions, or issues by calling my office at (573) 751-5713 or by visiting

Thank you for reading this and for your participation in state government.