Today was once remembered as Armistice Day, after the War to End All Wars. Unfortunately, it didn’t, so less than a generation later came the greatest mobilization of armed forces the world had ever seen. War had not – nor has it since – ended.
The word Armistice was stricken from the records and this day became Veterans Day.
In May we’ll honor and remember those who died in service of their country, but today is for all veterans, all wars, and we’ve had plenty of them just in my lifetime.
I would like to thank my husband and one of his brothers for their service in the Army; My son-in-law and a step-grandson for their service in the Navy; my grandson, brother-in-law, two nephews, and niece-in-law for their service in the Air Force.
I would like to thank all living service men and women who gave a portion of their lives to protect our country from those who would do it harm. I want to thank all of those in our armed forces today who signed up to better their lives and the lives they touch. Today is your day, given by a grateful nation and recognized by its citizens.
Not much has changed since it was written at the time when kings go forth to battle (2 Samuel 11:1 KJV)
Not so many kings, but we still go forth to battle. Most of us do it vicariously, sending young people much better suited to handle the loneliness, camaraderie, stress, danger, adventure and the tragedies they must endure.
General Douglas MacArthur said it best in his 1962 speech at West Point when he said:
“Let civilian voices argue the merits or demerits of our processes of government. Whether our strength is being sapped by deficit financing indulged in too long, by federal paternalism grown too mighty, by power groups grown too arrogant, by politics grown too corrupt, by crime grown too rampant, by morals grown too low, by taxes grown too high, by extremists grown too violent; whether our personal liberties are as firm and complete as they should be.
“These great national problems are not for your professional participation or military solution. Your guidepost stands out like a tenfold beacon in the night: Duty, Honor, Country.”
Note that country is third. Duty, that is seen as a moral obligation, not one of legal obligation. Honor, that which garners respect and praise. Country, on the other hand, is subject to political whims and personal discord. But our county is ours and as citizens we are supportive of her continued existence. Our armed forces complete their duties with honor defending our country. Without the first two, the county might not be worth defending.
Each recruit has a reason for signing up. Some do it for gain – monetary, educational or just personal. Some do not realize how much they are giving up, but they all show love.
Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13 KJV)