It is November 11th, 2009. As we go about our day today, let’s all take a minute and reflect back on what our military men and women have done for our country.
I had a recent conversation with a friend of mine on Twitter. We were actually talking about the current Health Care legislation on the floor of Congress. He made the statement that we have all heard many times before, “freedom isn’t free”. How very true that is.
Costs of War:
Freedom and the ability to choose your own destiny costs, sometimes dearly. Our ancestors new this and believed in it to their very core. As a result, we won The Revolutionary War and defeated one of the worlds greatest empires. Ever since, this country has enjoyed an extremely dedicated Armed Forces. The men and women who served, and still serve, make sacrifices day-in and day-out to ensure our safety and freedom. All told, as of August 2007, approximately 1 million military members have paid the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf, with some 1.5 million more wounded. It would do us all good to remember these sobering numbers. And the sacrifice goes further when we look at the families of these heroes. While their loved ones were/are serving on the front lines protecting our country, their mothers, fathers, wives, husbands, sons, daughters, and all other family members were/are at home with constant worry. Life does not stop at home when duty calls our soldiers; it keeps moving. So while we are thinking about what Veterans Day means to us, let’s all remember what it means to the families who sacrifice every day. Costs indeed.
Brief Overview of Veterans Day
Veterans Day was originally started at the end of World War I, “The Great War”. It was first called Armistice Day to signal the end of “the war to end all wars.” President Wilson proclaimed the first ever Armistice Day on November 11th, 1919 with the following statement:
“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…”
In 1938, Armistice Day became a federal holiday under Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a). The name was later changed to Veterans Day as a result of the World War II troop mobilizations and at the request of veterans organizations in 1954 so we could honor all veterans of all wars.
We honor the service and sacrifice our military members and their families make by remembering what it took to get us here. We take part in parades and celebrations today, spend time listening to the various ceremonies, make an extra special effort to reach out to our friends in the military and offer our thanks, and volunteer at local festivities. All of these activities are wonderful; however, I urge you to consider doing a little more. There are many ways to help: check out The USO, DOD website, or search local organizations sending care packages to troops currently deployed in Iraq and Afghanistan.
I attended the United States Merchant Marine Academy. As such, I have friends of mine who are still deployed overseas. They proudly serve our country and do so despite the political maneuvering back here at home. What they do for us transcends politics, and thankfully so. I am so grateful for our military members and families. On this day especially, I truly hope our politicians can see past their differences to formulate an effective strategy to accomplish our goals and bring our soldiers, my friends, back home. Thanks to all veterans of all branches of service. Your dedication and service make us a better country.