By: Steven Harris, Director, Policy Development and Regulatory Compliance, Food Marketing Institute

Next year, we will celebrate the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I, which officially ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when the armistice went into effect between the Allies and Germany. For years, the country celebrated the end of WWI with Armistice Day, and now, for more than sixty years, we mark this occasion by observing Veterans Day to honor all military veterans.

The sacrifices and commitments of our military veterans and active service members allow all of us to enjoy freedom from fear and to embrace the rights associated with our democracy. As part of these freedoms, we have economic and cultural rights, including the right to work, and our industry provides extensive opportunities for quality and rewarding careers for all Americans with diverse sets of skill sets and educational backgrounds.

As our recently released economic impact analysis emphasized, the supermarket industry is a major employer for U.S. workers, providing almost 5 million jobs across the country. FMI member companies hire workers of varying ages and backgrounds, including veterans of the armed services as well as active members of the military. The food retail industry provides rewarding career opportunities for members of the military and their families, including flexible scheduling and programs for those actively serving that must take military leaves of absences, and our members regularly participate in military-focused job fairs.

Grocery stores have a significant presence in so many communities around the country, and they actively strive to give back to their customers, their workers, and to all of those who have served or are actively protecting our country. While we highlight the sacrifices and selflessness of our veterans on days like Veterans Day, our appreciation extends past these holidays and is replayed each and every day.