The eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month is Veterans Day! The date was chosen to commemorate World War I, which ended on November 11, 1918. It was officially established by Congress on June 4, 1926 as Armistice Day. The word Armistice was later replaced with the word Veteran. The purpose of Veterans Day and Memorial Day are often confused. Memorial Day is for honoring military personnel who died in service to their country. Veterans Day is for thanking all men and women who have served honorably in the military during times of war and peace.
To all Veterans – “Thank you for your service!”
Veterans Day is steeped in history with remembrance ceremonies held all across the nation. Over the years Veterans Day - like many other ‘days’ – has fallen victim to commercialization and viewed by many as an afterthought.
I, personally, thank all who take the time to reflect on the contributions and sacrifices our Veterans – and their families - have made for this great country. Freedom is not free!
As I was reflecting on what I would write I was often distracted by the political fights in Washington and rhetoric of the media ‘talking heads.’ I was getting flashbacks of my return from Vietnam in ’72. Our nation is divided! Part of this was making me angry and part was saying ‘this too shall pass!’ What hurt the most, however, was when our government closed the WWII Memorial to visiting Honor Flights.
Veterans are a small percentage of our nation’s population. Although small, they do carry weight in the hearts and minds of the American people. On this Veterans Day I ask all – Veteran or not – to stand tall and remind those who may have forgotten that our nation will only remain strong as long as ‘future Veterans’ are seeing our nation honor and care for the Veterans of the past.