Today is Veterans Day, so I decided to do a little research. I have to admit, I was really taken by the way this holiday has become what it is today. I am not the foremost on history, and yet every time I learn something new, I wish I had learned more. There is great meaning to this day.
President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day in 1919 as a day to celebrate the end of World War I. Armistice Day was synonymous with Remembrance Day and originally only honored those who passed in WWI. In 1954, a bill was signed into law officiating this day as a national holiday, as well as changing the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. It should not be mistaken for Memorial day which honors the men and women who gave the ultimate price in the name of the country they served.
If you have read my work for any amount of time, you know I was raised as an “army brat”. I was too young to really understand what this meant, but I knew a lot was at stake. I didn’t know that there was a chance my dad could be sent to serve during the Vietnam War, but fortunately he was discharged in 1968 during the Tet Offensive. My mom had no plans on raising six kids by herself, and even though his future with the military was bright, he walked away. They started over again in the private sector with the military in our rearview mirror.
One of the wonderful things this day represents is worldwide participation. It honors each branch of the military, those who served and those who still do. How rare to have a cause that we all agree on and respect. That in and of itself is impressive.
When it comes to our core beliefs and the countries that we love and may even die for, we are united by heart and pride of the blood that courses through our veins. On this day, we realize the sacrifices that have been made to protect our nation. We all know the price of war and the casualties that too many pay for; the ones who did not have a hand in this issue, but are left broken and empty.
No matter the language you speak, the name of the political party you believe in or whether you have a President or a Prime Minister - today we are family. We celebrate these brave men and women in many different ways, but the meaning is universal.
World peace may seem very far away, but what holds us together as a civilization is the everlasting hope that it is a possibility. If that weren’t true, where would that leave us?
Today I urge you to look past color, religion, and language. There are people all over the world that are serving their country because they believe in a cause. They believe in their God, and they believe in the armed services they serve. Their selflessness and honor should not only be remembered on this day, rather each and every day we wake up free and safe.
I hope our kids take reverence in this day and the meaning it holds. I hope they understand that some solders in many countries are not much older than they are and too appreciate the freedom they have been given. They have this luxury because of those who fight to protect the United States, or any country, and this must be respected.
Today, I will pray for all of those who are in danger’s reach, no matter where or who they are. I will pray for the mothers and fathers that cry at the loss of their kids, and stand beside them through their grief. I hope you all take a moment to do the same, for that is what Veterans day is about. The concept is etherial, and I hope one day obtainable. Wouldn’t that be heaven? One day friends, one day.
For those who are currently serving, have served, or are contemplating serving: thank you. Today, we are one. Let’s talk tomorrow, shall we? I will bring the coffee. -Ruth