Over 100,000 American soldiers died in World War 1. Over 200,000 American soldiers were wounded. The Treaty of Versailles was signed to end World War 1 but the war actually ended 7 months earlier when an armistice (a temporary stop to fighting between the Allied nations and Germany) was declared. This armistice went into effect on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. For that reason we celebrate Veterans Day on Nov 11th.
In November 1919, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: “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…”
Many wars have come and gone since then and although the reasons for each war are always different, there is one thing that stays the same. Each war involves heroes who risk and lay down their lives for the sake of our freedom. To quote the bible “there is no greater love than this that one man would lay down his life for another”. This ultimate demonstration of love and sacrifice is to be forever honored and remembered.
In the movie “A Few Good Men” Lt. Weinberg asks Gallloway concerning the soldiers on trial “Why do you like them so much?” to which Galloway replies “Because they stand on a wall and say, “Nothing’s going to hurt you tonight, not on my watch”. That really sums it up. This is what every soldier signed up to do. Too often we take for granted that we are the strongest nation in the world. We live securely enjoying our freedom sometimes forgetting where it comes from.
On Nov 11th let us remember the men and women who gave their lives so that we could live as we do. Here are 3 things you can do this Veterans Day to give tribute to our soldiers.
- Attend a ceremony that pays tribute to our soldiers and if you take your kids explain what the parade is all about.
- Shake the hand of a soldier and thank them for their service.
- Donate to a charitable organization like “Wounded Warrior Project” that helps wounded veterans.
Lastly there is one more thing you can do and that is share your ideas as to how we can all thank the men and women who serve and have served. Please reply to this post and share your ideas as to how we can all make this Nov 11th the tribute that it should be as we all remember that freedom isn’t free.