Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day and was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor the end of World War I. In 1954, the name Armistice was replaced with the word Veterans. Over the years politicians argued as to when it should be held until finally in 1968, President Gerald R. Ford singed a law to return the annual observance of Veterans Day to the original date of Nov. 11 beginning in 1978.
If you have never had any military ties, it’s probably hard for you to understand the importance of honoring these men and women.
My father was in the Army at the Battle of the Bulge, my father-in-law was in the Marines at Iwo Jima at the U.S. flag raising, my husband was a Marine on a boat going to Cuba during that crisis, my son was a Marine during peacetime and my friend Mona here at the Herald was in the Army. Those are just a few close to me that come to mind quickly.
There are countless servicemen and women who were permanently injured, lost their lives, suffered untold atrocious, living conditions and treatment while POWs and some I am ashamed to say were treated horribly when they returned home.
These people give up the freedom we enjoy everyday. They don’t go home at 4 p.m. everyday like we do. They never know when they will be called to leave their families on a moment’s notice to go anywhere in the world. And why do they do this? For you and me. Wars have been going on since the dawn of time and they will probably continue and thank God there are people willing to give their all to defend our country.
I know times have changed since World War I and II, but they shouldn’t. The glory given during those days is quite different than today. Respect seems to have been removed from our country as well as other important items. Do we ever stop and think what would happen to us if our all-voluntary military personnel just quit and went home? It’s a very scary thought. We owe them more than we could ever repay. It’s the very least we can do to honor them on this day.
Take the time to show these people you appreciate what they have done for us. At 2 p.m. Nov. 8, gather on the sidewalks as the parade for Veterans Day goes by and let them know you care and join them at the Hodgenville Civic Center for the “Patriotic Pride: A Salute to Veterans” with a reception following the program.