Today is Veterans Day —an annual observance intended to honor military veterans. It includes all persons who served in the Armed Forces of the United States.
Originally, the observance was titled Armistice Day (also called by some Remembrance Day). It marked the end of World War I, which ended at the eleventh hour, on the eleventh day, of the eleventh month in 1918.
Today, other allied nations continue to observe this momentous occasion —in the UK, everyone stops for a two-minute period of silence at the eleventh hour. They do this out of respect, and to reflect on the sacrifices made during the war. These sacrifices, by the way, were not only made by brave young men. They were also made by mothers and fathers, wives and sweethearts, and by the children left with only one remaining parent.
We don’t see that kind of reflection here in America, and herein lies my issue, because I think our failure to remember the sacrifices of our troops and their allied brothers is a travesty of the first order. Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954. Combat service during the very bloody First World War is not equivalent of serving in uniform during periods of tranquility. I think we owe it to the memory of these fallen to make the distinction between serving in combat, and service in war time.
I would urge our government to return 11 November to a day that remembers and honors World War I Veterans; let’s find another day to acknowledge the service of honorably discharged or retired Americans who served their country, voluntarily or not, at a later time.
As for the sacrifices of World War I …
Hat tip for visual: My good friend Pablo.