There is a day set aside, one day, November 11 to remember all those who have served and died for our great country. We call the day Veterans Day.
Actually, this celebrated day began as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day and it was fashioned to commemorate the end of World War I and to honor all those fallen in that dramatic war. It was our then President Woodrow Wilson who first proclaimed the day November 11, 1919 and of that special day Mr. Wilson said the following:
“To us in America, the reflection of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
A beautiful tribute Mr. Wilson. On June 1, 1954 Congress passed legislation which replaced ARMISTICE with VETERANS and since that time, this noble day, November 11, has been known as:
We should indeed as a nation be “filled with a solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in this country’s service,” as President Wilson so well stated. Any real American takes great pride in this great country of ours, so marvelous, so noble, bold and giving no matter its problems. We the citizens have done so much to make this nation great and given so much to the world at large. We should be proud.
So then, with that pride, and of course with gratitude, we remember so fondly all those who gave time and effort, or life and limb to our country, to us. So often our veterans were men and women in the prime of life, some as young as 18 years of age, fighting for and serving our great country. They arose and they volunteered to protect us. They heard way down deep a call to serve America, to risk life and even give it up for the America they loved. They served at home and abroad. Protecting us here, defending our borders, yet willingly following this protective call anywhere in the world.
The United States Army asked of young American men and women that they:
BE ALL THEY CAN BE.
There was training, learning, education, discipline and growth. Boys became men and girls became women, maturing in so many ways. It was an honor indeed to serve in the United States Army for all of them.
And then there was the United States Navy. These brave men and women protecting our seas, and the dramatic waters beneath, and the skies above. Our submarines roam the ocean, protecting. Our carriers and battleships always on the watch. So many special forces at work, like the Navy Seals who carry out the most dangerous missions, all for us.
And then come the United States Marines who are indeed:
They are few in number for the standards are so high. The marines are men and women tough and utterly committed to honor. They are called to do the highest acts of bravery. They are so obviously proud to represent our country, our flag, the great red-white-blue. It is easy to sense how these men and women, all of them in the armed forces, believe so proudly in patriotism and the highest American standards for which they are willing to die if necessary. To give life to protect this great country as it is and to make certain there will be tomorrows for the true American pursuit of life, liberty and happiness. All of them, all these heroes are special human beings. They wear the uniform proudly and we should salute them. We, as President Woodrow Wilson so well said, should indeed take “solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in this country’s service.” Families who have had fallen veterans remember and honor them always, not just one day. Think if you will of all those veterans, now among us, who were wounded, maimed, perhaps now without legs or arms, perhaps unable to function normally ever again. They are in treatment centers, veterans’ hospitals, retirement communities and otherwise generally taken care of and supported by our federal government. That of course is a good thing and as it should be. Some will have treatment forevermore. Most will never be the same. The unbelievable dangers of combat in war have produced psychological scars which can never be erased. Again, my fellow Americans, they are heroes, all of them, for they, as one organization says:
GAVE THEIR TODAYS FOR YOUR TOMORROWS, AND FOR MINE.
Indeed they did and we owe them.
And we should honor them every day. When you recognize one of these HEROES, salute them.
And thank them, thank them for all they do for you, and for me. Perhaps you might consider visiting a veterans’ hospital or a living community to shake a hand or offer a hug to a hero. So many are forgotten and alone and a touch and a smile could mean so much from you.
We often ask our God to bless America. Actually, God has already done so by providing us with these heroes, these veterans who have protected us and continue to do so. I thank God for them as I hope you do. May God bless America and may God bless even more especially those noble heroes:
THE VETERANS WHO SERVE.