World War I – known at the time as “The Great War” - officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of “the war to end all wars.”
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Veterans Day continues to be observed on November 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to November 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America's veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Today we honor our veterans, but as columnist Mark Baisley points out at Townhall, we need to have their back. He previews a book just out : “Betrayed: The Shocking True Story of Extortion 17 as told by a Navy SEAL’s Father”. From the article / preview:
The book details the events of August 6, 2011 in Afghanistan surrounding the shooting down of an American Chinook helicopter that held the evocative name of “Extortion 17.”A high-value Al-Qaeda leader was pinned down in a village by U.S. Army Rangers. Three hours into the intense ground engagement, Extortion 17 was tasked to carry seventeen SEALs into the battle with the onerous task of capturing the Al-Qaeda leader alive.. . .
Under the Obama Administration’s new rules of engagement, no strike could be made on that building without assurance that no civilians were inside. The enemy knows these rules, which is why they run into buildings where civilians may be located.
Under the protection of Obama rules, the enemy set up on the tower of the building and shot down Extortion 17 using three rocket-propelled grenades. The Chinook fell to the ground in a tremendous explosion, killing all 30 people on board.
The parents of those SEAL Team members who died were gathered for a briefing and were given hundreds of pages of information from the investigation of the event. Betrayed includes many pages of that original material; material that raised enough unsettling questions that Billy Vaughn wrote a book.
One question asked at the briefing was why, even in the minutes following the shoot-down of Extortion 17, America’s massive firepower was withheld. Three-star Admiral Robert Harward explained to the parents that a drone strike wasn’t used because, “we need to win their hearts and minds.”
Evidently, this policy of social politeness on the battlefront motivated the Obama Administration to relegate authority over American troops under Afghanistan command one year before the Extortion 17 crash, the greatest loss of U.S. military SEALs in a single incident.
The parents of Special Operations Chief (SEAL) Aaron Carson Vaughn have a website for our son, with their tribute and book.
Not only does this Administration not honor those who serve, it is undermining and weakening the military. The story of Extortion 17 should be front page news. Of course, the media is ignoring it. Please share this story with your family and friends.