Friday, November 11, 2005

Veterans' Day Thank You

It was at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month that the armistice was signed to end the "war to end all wars." For several decades starting in 1919, November 11th was celebrated throughout the United States as "Armistice Day". As we all know, the Great War was not the last war, and our men and women continued the struggle for America's freedom throughout the Second World War, through the Korean Conflict and on into Vietnam, the Gulf War, and now into the War on Terror in Afghanistan and Iraq. Thus, on November 11th 1971, President Nixon officially renamed this day to Veterans' Day in honor of all the men and women that have served this great nation in countless wars.

The number of veterans that served in the First and Second World Wars have dwindled, and with them so too have the celebrations marking this day. Cities and towns that once held lavish parades in their honor now pass November 11th as it were any other day. Schools in many states remain open today and businesses see it not as a day to remember our veterans but as a day to kick off the Christmas shopping season. It seems that we as a nation have forgotten the sacrifices of our men and women in uniform.

Of all the secular holidays we celebrate in the US, this day is by far the most important. Were it not for our veterans, no other American holiday would be possible. They alone have answered this nation's call whenever our freedom and way of life was threatened. They alone responded when our allies were in need. They alone have stood guard while the rest of us slept peacefully at night.

Today above all other days is a time to thank our veterans for all they have done. Do you enjoy your freedom of speech? Thank a veteran. Have you openly opposed the war in Iraq? Thank a veteran that you have the right to do so. Have you ever written a letter to the editor criticising you local, state, or federal government? Thank a veteran for the safety of that action. It is their endless vigilance that grants us the freedoms we too often take for granted.

So join me today in saying "Thank You" to our veterans, for they are the foundation upon which this nation was built, and they are the foundation upon which our future generations will stand.

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1 comment :

RADICAL WOMAN said...

Tasteful blog entry; it's nice to see a "thank you" to our vets.

Check this out if you'd like, as today's entry pertains to vets:

http://exploringconsciousness.blogspot.com