Armistice Day Becomes Veterans Day
World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles. The actual fighting between the Allies and Germany, however, had ended seven months earlier with the armistice, which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. Armistice Day, as November 11 became known, officially became a holiday in the United States in 1926, and a national holiday 12 years later. On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.
In 1968, new legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.
Here is a copy of a Discharge Certificate for my Grandfather, Leslie C. Hall, who served in the Army during World War I. He enlisted in August of 1917, not quite 18 years old. He shipped out to France on November 22, 1917 and was discharged on January 22, 1919.
War is a terrible thing. And although we are proud of all of our veterans for their sacrifice on our behalf, I always think about the fact that these "tough" Soldiers and Sailors and Marines are someone's son or daughter...someone's child...someone's baby.
To put it in perspective, here is a picture of my grandfather as a toddler, probably about 2 or 3. Yes, those curls were worn by boys back then.
This is a picture of my Grandfather as a youngster, probably about 10 years old, which would be about 1909. I don't know who the other men are in this picture. Maybe Dad or Uncle Alan will know who they are.
And here is a picture of him with Gram and Uncle Alan, probably around 1947 or so.
So here's to all those sons and daughters who served our country so well over the years and generations. Today we think of them and say thank you.
What is a Vet?
He is the cop on the beat, who spent 6 months in Saudi Arabia sweating two gallons a day making sure the armored personnel carriers didn't run out of fuel.
He is the barroom loudmouth, dumber than five wooden planks, whose overgrown frat-boy behavior is outweighed a hundred times in the cosmic scales by four hours of exquisite bravery near the 38th Parallel.
She is the nurse, who fought against futility and went to sleep sobbing nights for 2 solid years in Da Nang.
He is the POW who went away one person and came back another ~ or didn't come back AT ALL
He is the Quantico Drill Instructor, who has never seen combat ~ but has saved countless lives by turning slouchy, no-account rednecks and gang members into Marines, teaching them to watch each other's backs.
She is the career Quartermaster, who watches the ribbons and medals pass her by.
He is one of the anonymous heroes in the Tomb of the Unknowns, whose presence at the Arlington National Cemetary must forever preserve the memory of all the anonymous heroes, whose valor died unrecognized with them on the battlefield or in the ocean's sunless deep.
He is the old guy, bagging groceries at the supermarket ~ palsied now and aggravatingly slow ~ who helped liberate a Nazi death camp ~ and who wishes all day long that his wife were still alive to hold him when the nightmares come.
She is an ordinary and yet extraordinary human being ~ a woman who offered some of her life's most vital years in the service of her country, and who sacrificed her ambitions so others would not have to sacrifice theirs.
He is a soldier and a sword against the darkness, and he is nothing more than the finest, greatest testimony on behalf of the finest, greatest nation every known!
So remember .....
Each time you see someone who has served our country, just lean over and say "THANK YOU!" That's all most people need, and in most cases it will mean more than any medals they could have been, or were awarded.
It is the soldier, NOT the reporter,
who has given us Freedom of the Press.
It is the soldier, NOT the poet,
who has given us Freedom of Speech.
It is the soldier, NOT the campus organizer,
who has given us the Freedom to Demonstrate.
It is the soldier,
who salutes the flag,
who serves beneath the flag,
and whose coffin is draped by the flag,
who allows the protestor to
burn the flag!
~ author unknown ~
God Bless the Veterans of
THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA