Women Veterans Day exists apart from Veterans Day to honor the work of women in the US Armed Forces and recognize the unique challenges women have faced during and after service. With that in mind, we could not think of a more fitting image to say everything about this important day than one of a simple handshake.
So much power and symbolism is expressed in this one image.
Generations of women, committed to the security and peace of our nation, represented in one handshake. One that reaches deep into the past and far into the future.
The mountain of respect shared between past and future generations.
The depths of pain and heights of achievement passed between two palms.
A symbolic passing of the torch—one burning with bravery and a willingness to put oneself in harm’s way for the good of all.
One side, representing new progress earned and claimed for women in the military. The other, representing the shoulders on which we stand—courageous shoulders that faced unthinkable challenges and made today’s achievements possible.
This Women Veterans Day is the 75th anniversary of the Armed Services Integration Act. It marks the moment when women were first allowed to serve permanently in the US Armed Forces, no longer limited to wartime only. We salute every woman who has ever donned a military uniform to serve our nation, while we wish every success to present and future women who continue to serve and break new ground.
Thank you for your service and deep commitment to this nation.
Photo Credit: Marine Corps Pfc. Maria Daume, left, receives a congratulatory handshake after graduating from the basic mortarman course at Marine Corps Base Camp Geiger, NC, March 23, 2017. Daume was a mortarman assigned to Bravo Company, Infantry Training Battalion, School of Infantry East. Mortarmen provide fire to support maneuver elements using light, medium and heavy mortars. Marine Corps photo by Cpl. Laura Mercado. Courtesy US Department of Defense Multimedia.