Today is Veterans Day. We remember and honor all who have served our country in the nation’s military.
In numismatics, veterans have been integral in its development both while they were on active service and then following their return to civilian life.
In my career, I have had the honor of working with the late Russ Rulau, World Coin News editor and token authority. He served in the Army in World War II and was part of the initial occupation force in Japan in 1945 that arrived before the official surrender on Sept. 2 1945, on the U.S.S. Missouri in Tokyo Bay.
Courtney Coffing, who was editor of Bank Note Reporter for a time, served as a Marine in World War II in the island hopping campaign against Japan, including Iwo Jima, and ended up spending some time in China.
Bob Wilhite was Coin Market editor of Numismatic News for many years, but before that he had a full career in the U.S. Air Force, serving during the Vietnam War.
Krause Publications founder Chet Krause was in the Army in Europe in World War II that fought its way into Germany.
All did their duty. All were collectors. I have learned much from all four.
My point is that recognizing their military service is appropriate. That is what this day is for. But it is also important to remember that they didn’t stop contributing to the well being of society generally and numismatics specifically when their military service ended. For the most part, it had just begun.
For the four I cited, their contributions to numismatics helped make it what it is today.
So when you thank a veteran, also remember that his or her contributions will continue to benefit us all in whatever fields they choose for many years to come.
Buzz blogger Dave Harper is winner of the 2013 Numismatic Literary Guild Award for Best Blog and is editor of the weekly newspaper “Numismatic News.”