As our veteran organization leaders are assembling, let me first start by thanking our Council President for his leadership as Council President in really focusing attention of our city government on veterans, revitalizing our city's Veterans Advisory Commission. And I'm very proud to say that we will be hearing shortly from our new Executive Director.
Joining me are my co-introducers, Councilman Mark Squilla, Councilwoman Jannie Blackwell, and let me just say that any year could be Year of the Veteran. This is a special year for us. Any year could be Year of the Veteran, but this year is Year of the Veteran and it will be such a year if we make it so, and that is the point of this resolution. So let's make it so.
This is a City Council resolution passed by all members of City Council recognizing 2014 as the Year of the Veteran in Philadelphia to highlight and celebrate the accomplishments as well as to continue to raise public awareness of issues related to veterans and the ongoing initiatives to serve those who have served.
Whereas, Philadelphia is the birthplace of the United States Army, United States Navy and the United States Marine Corps, establishing a link between our city and those who have served our country dating back to pre-Revolutionary War times; and
Whereas, veterans from past wars and peace time as well as those currently serving from overseas military duty to Philadelphia are part of the foundation of our community having served our country in the armed forces, putting themselves in harm's way, willing to make the ultimate sacrifice, to protect us and preserve our liberties; and
Whereas, there are roughly 88,000 veterans living in Philadelphia with service spanning World War II until the present, men and women of all races, religions, ethnicities, gender identifications and physical abilities; and
Whereas, a new generation of veterans, including many female veterans, are returning from service and choosing to live, work and further their education in Philadelphia; and