You’ll Never be Forgotten!
THEY deserve our thanks. They embody in a practical way what sacrifice means. In the words of President Obama
“The freedoms we cherish endure because of their service and sacrifice, and our country must strive to honor our veterans by fulfilling our responsibilities to them and upholding the sacred trust we share with all who have served.”
This coming Friday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. It began as Armistice Day, when in 1919 President Wilson said, “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.” He was referring to the “war to end all wars” – World War I. Of course, it wasn’t: World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan followed. And there will be more to come, unfortunately.
It was in 1954 that Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to honor all veterans of the many military conflicts in which they all served and many died. Veterans are also those who have served in the military in times of peace to maintain peace and deter aggression.
According to the Veterans Day National Committee Bylaws, the objectives for the group, which oversees Veterans Day, are:
- To promote public interest in the military service of veterans to the United States during peacetime or time of war or armed conflict,
- To honor those who served, to encourage the maintenance of an honorable peace while maintaining military readiness to deter aggression, and
Whenever and wherever we see individuals in uniform, we should express our thanks to them for their service and sacrifice. Whenever we encounter families of veterans, including those currently serving, we should extend our appreciation to them for the service and sacrifice of their loved one, some of whom paid the ultimate price. The freedoms that we wake up to daily are possible because men and women in uniform keep watch throughout the days and nights. They give of their time and talents – they invest their lives – to provide for our safety and to strive for peace in the world.
Religions around the world and throughout the ages have themes of sacrifice at the heart of their stories about the gods and humanity. From ritual sacrifices of animals or humans to appease the gods (earlier religions) to God sacrificing “his only Son our Lord” (from the Christian Apostles’ Creed), sacrifice (the shedding of blood) has been the deepest expression for relationship.
When our fellow citizens put their lives in harm’s way, ready to sacrifice their lives for our sake, we can only begin to grasp the depth of relationship we have with one another in the context of freedom, which we all cherish. Freedom comes with such a price. On Nov. 11 and every day, let us be mindful of our veterans and be thankful. And, further, let us probe our own conscience as to what we are willing to sacrifice for the sake of our common good as citizens of the United States of America.
Have you thanked a Veteran recently?
We made a Facebook Page honoring our vets. You can directly use the box below:
(Mark J. Molldrem is a writer, community volunteer, and daily host of Joy in the Morning on WBEV. He lives in Beaver Dam with his wife, Shirley. WordPowerSolutions@gmail.com)