Since tomorrow is Veterans Day, I wanted to take a moment and write about what the day means to me, and what I think about it.
If you need some brief history on Veterans Day, it was originally enacted in November of 1919, when President Wilson proclaimed that the 11th would be the official day honoring Armistice Day, saying: “‘To us in America, the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…'” (http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp) The day was, at the time, commemorating the end of World War I, and since has become a National Holiday, at first being a day of celebration, to now, simply a day of observance.
So, for me, Veterans Day is under-deserved, as it is no longer a “business” Holiday. Unless there are some locally organized parades or festivities honoring military members, past and present, Veterans, and those who sacrificed their lives fighting for our country, I’ve never really heard of anything that’s “done” to honor Veterans and service members, other than offering discounts and free meals for the day.
So, I would like to extend a gigantic THANK YOU to all of the service members, past and present, and those planning to enlist, for giving your service – either drafted or voluntarily – for the country, and for causes the country believes in. Your service is appreciated.
My father is a Veteran with the Air Force during Vietnam, an uncle a Veteran with the US Navy during the time of the Korean War, their father a Veteran of WWII, my husband to be a Veteran of the Afghanistan War, and numerous cousins and friends, who have enlisted and are Veterans of the Iraqi War, Gulf War, and more. Now, being on the side of an Army Wife, I understand the military life a little more, and have a better appreciation for what the men and women who serve endure. I, personally, know that I would not make it as well as many of those serving have and do; to make it as an Army Wife is tough enough, I can’t imagine being on the soldier’s side.
To those who are serving, who are deployed, or will deploy, I thank you, and I wish you and your families well. To those who have served, have deployed, thank you, I hope you had safe returns, and had the support needed from your families or friends. And to the families who lost service members in the line of duty, I thank your service member for their service, and for the ultimate sacrifice that was made. I hope they have found peace in what the afterlife has to offer, and I hope you have found peace with the loss. From one wife to the rest, from one who is close to a soldier to anyone else close to a service member, I know it is difficult to say good-bye, and not know what will happen, if you will never get to say hello again. I hope you have made it through the loss.
If I could wrap my arms around everyone impacted by the military – those serving and their families – I would give you all a tremendous hug.
So, thank you, for the support, for serving, and for believing in a cause. My thoughts are with you all most every day, but will be especially tomorrow.