To serve in the armed forces is a distinction not only of bravery but of sacrifice. On this Veterans Day, we at ASEA honor those who have shown the fortitude to put their country and fellowman first.
The tradition of commemorating our service men and women began just after World War I. The armistice ending that great conflict went into effect at 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Fittingly, November 11 was chosen the following year as Armistice Day and was later made an official legal holiday.
After World War II and the Korean War, it became clear that all who serve deserve our respect. In 1954, under President Dwight D. Eisenhower, the name was changed to Veterans Day.
This day is different from Memorial Day, which is specifically a time to remember those who gave their lives for our country. Veterans Day, on the other hand, honors all who have served, both in war and in peace, both living and deceased. It’s a day to thank living veterans for their service and sacrifice.
Veterans at ASEA
We can’t help but be particularly proud that some of that elite group have associated themselves with ASEA, both as associates and as corporate office staff.
Triple Diamond Executive Paul Taira is one of them. Raised in a military family, Paul’s desire to serve the country he loves began in childhood. “I wanted to be a fighter pilot but didn’t have the eyesight for it, so I served in the United States Marine Corps infantry,” he says.
The family history that inspired Paul’s decision to serve exemplifies selflessness and patriotism. His grandfather, a second-generation Japanese American, served as a military interpreter during World War II. At the very same time, his own wife was living in a concentration camp.
“My grandmother never expected any restitution for that,” Paul states. “She never even talked about it—my mom’s sister didn’t know until she was in high school that her mother had been in a camp.” Paul says that instead of lamenting the situation, his grandfather used it as added incentive to fight even harder to win the war.
Philip Hansen, ASEA’s senior director of global tax, also developed a desire to serve at an early age. “It comes down to recognizing the need and being willing to fill it,” he says. He did so with 12 active years in the United States Army and Army Reserves.
“I’m grateful for the opportunity I had to serve with everyone that I served with,” Phil says. “It was an honor to see so many good people willing to stand up and defend the Constitution, set aside partisan politics, and just be there for each other.”
Phil served in four deployments: one in Haiti, one in Bosnia, and two in Iraq. He was in the company of courageous people each time. “It was brothers and sisters first, above and beyond anything else,” he asserts.
We are proud to join people all across the country in saluting the veterans of the United States Armed Forces. From all of us at ASEA, thank you for your love of country and for your willingness to sacrifice for the collective good of all Americans.