Monday Minute - Veterans Day

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Why do we observe this day in November? Originally called Armistice Day, the day that marks the end of World War I, it was to commence on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918. This year marks the 100th anniversary of the end of “The War to End All Wars.”

Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day in 1954 by President Dwight Eisenhower.

According to the Department of Veterans Affairs, there are 20.4 million veterans in the U.S. today, about 6.5 percent of the U.S. population.

We have the freedoms to enjoy our lives in this country because of these men and women, many of whom displayed enormous strength and character, courage and resolve, in the most difficult of situations. People who showed persistent resilience no matter what, to see it through to the end, however uncertain that might be. To overcome all obstacles along the way. Even to make the ultimate sacrifice.

 The Normandy American Cemetery in France is a quiet, meticulously maintained memorial that highlights the French reverence for all it represents, and the lives buried here. French school children frequently arrive by bus to lay flowers on individual graves.

The Normandy American Cemetery in France is a quiet, meticulously maintained memorial that highlights the French reverence for all it represents, and the lives buried here. French school children frequently arrive by bus to lay flowers on individual graves.

Take a moment to think about the meaning of this day, and the many armed forces who never made it home during the history of our country. One can’t help but be moved by a walk around the Normandy American Cemetery in Colleville-sur-Mer in France. It is a very stirring experience. Or spend an afternoon at Arlington National Cemetery in Virginia, across the Potomac River from Washington, DC. It is our country’s most sacred cemetery. The sacrifice of so many men and women from our armed forces is not something we think much about in our daily lives, which is why we acknowledge them on this day, Veterans Day.

 This B-17 somehow survived a mission over Cologne. These were frightful raids with staggering losses. More U.S. Army Air Corps airmen were killed in the skies over Europe than all the Marines in all the campaigns to take back the Pacific. And the RAF lost over 55,500 men, 10,000 of those were Canadian. Only 41 out of every 100 men escaped untouched, at least physically.

This B-17 somehow survived a mission over Cologne. These were frightful raids with staggering losses. More U.S. Army Air Corps airmen were killed in the skies over Europe than all the Marines in all the campaigns to take back the Pacific. And the RAF lost over 55,500 men, 10,000 of those were Canadian. Only 41 out of every 100 men escaped untouched, at least physically.

Canada, Great Britain, Australia, and France also commemorate their veterans from WWI and WWII on or about November 11th.

 Marines in Vietnam. Most of us know servicemen who still carry the scars to this day.

Marines in Vietnam. Most of us know servicemen who still carry the scars to this day.

So take a moment and reflect on this date as something much more important than many holidays. It is not a day of celebration, but rather to acknowledge our veterans and the freedom they have fought for, and so many paid the ultimate price.

 Navy SEALS deployed in one of our current conflicts.

Navy SEALS deployed in one of our current conflicts.

Thank you for your service and Don’t Forget.

Have a great week.