On this special Veterans Day, I, Antwanisha, am honored to extend our heartfelt appreciation on behalf of the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee. We would like to acknowledge the incredible dedication, sacrifice, and resilience demonstrated by all veterans, with a special emphasis on black veterans and veterans of color.
Throughout history, black veterans and veterans of color have faced immense challenges within the military, including racism, segregation, sexism, and various other disparities. Despite these obstacles, these brave individuals have served our nation proudly, displaying an unwavering commitment to protect and defend the freedoms we hold dear.
We recognize and appreciate the sacrifices you have made, not only on the battlefield but also in the face of social injustices within the military community. Your contributions have helped shape our nation, paving the way for progress and equality. Your courage has inspired generations to fight for justice and dismantle systemic barriers.
Today, we stand united in solidarity, acknowledging the unique struggles faced by black veterans and veterans of color. We express deep gratitude for your service, unwavering strength, and the leadership you have provided in the face of adversity. Your stories empower us to continue the fight for equality, ensuring that the sacrifices you have made are never forgotten.
In 1948, President Harry S. Truman signed Executive Order 9981, a historic move to integrate the U.S. military. The signing of this order not only transformed the rank and file of persons who served our country in the military, but it also integrated and transformed our society.
To honor the 75th anniversary of the integration of the U.S. military and the active role the NAACP played, today we launch our 75 for 75 military membership drive. Collectively, we are aiming to welcome 75 active duty and retired military members and their families to each NAACP unit. Joining a local NAACP unit not only allows us to honor you and your commitment but also furthers your service toward the fight for freedom. The NAACP is a network of activists and community leaders who are building Black political and social power through advocacy, litigation, and civic engagement committed to freedom and justice for all.
As the NAACP California Hawaii State Conference Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee, we remain committed to advocating for the rights and well-being of all veterans. We will continue to address and combat systemic issues, working towards a future where every veteran can proudly and confidently serve without facing discrimination or bias.
On this Veterans Day, we salute our members who have served on the front lines, and all of those who have served, you are our heroes, and we express our heartfelt appreciation. Thank you veterans for your service, your sacrifices, and the positive impact you have had on our nation. We honor you today and every day.
With sincerest gratitude,
Dr. Antwanisha Williamson-Berlus
NAACP California Hawaii State Conference Armed Services and Veterans Affairs Committee Chair