In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “To us in America, the reflections 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”
The original intent for the day was for everyone in America to take time and celebrate the end of the war, individuals and business alike starting at 11:00 am. As things do, they shift focus; become more or less important to different generations as the memory of things wax and wane. This is one of those things. We reserve our parades for Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July – you know, the big ones.
To me, today is a day of consideration, a day to reflect on the sacrifices made by everyone in the military, and their families. It’s more than that though. I am reminded of just how fickle our country is in how they honor and remember their own military. How support ebbs and flows like the tide, and how easy it is to point fingers and forget the cost of being in service for your country. Honestly, I think we have today backwards.
Veteran’s Day should be a day for our military to give thanks back to the people who have supported them without reservation over the years. We should be saying thank you for covering our six when we were off doing what needed to be done. That’s not the case; but it should be.
As a Marine I say thank you. Thank you to all of my brothers and sisters serving now, those who put themselves in harms way, and those who support these units. Thank you to those who are not in service, yet support the military, both abroad and at home.
Happy Veteran’s Day – now, go hug a Vet!