Ninety one years ago at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month marks the signing of the Armistice (Cease fire agreement) by the German army, to end World War 1. One year later in 1919 Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the day Armistice Day. Then in 1926 Congress passed a resolution to observe November 11th with ceremonies of national conduct to honor those who served in the War and it was approved as a legal holiday in 1938 defined as “A day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day”.
Then again in 1953, a small business man in Emporia, Kansas, a shoe store owner crusaded for the idea to celebrate “all” Veterans on this day. Al King was his name. He had been very much involved in the support of War Fathers and their families during World War 2. The Emporia Chamber of Commerce waved their flags and all of its members along with the Board of Education, agreed to close their doors on November 11th to honor our Veterans. Soon a bill to mark the holiday was sent to Congress and Dwight Eisenhower signed it into law in 1954. Congress amended it and changed it from Armistice to Veterans Day.
Talk about your Tea Parties and Patriotism!! Wow! And back then folks, EVERYONE knew it was the right thing to do. Everyone was very patriotic and felt in debt to our men and women in uniform. Back then, almost every single citizen of the United States loved this country.
Today in 2009, we honor the nearly 25 million military veterans who have served. It is also observed over in the U.K. as Armed Forces Day and Remembrance Day in Canada.
My flag is flying today. Waving in the breeze to people passing by and to the world. It is red, white and blue and I truly love my flag. Your flag. Our flag. They’re all one in the same. It flies for freedom, liberty, independence, and for peace.
I don’t think patriotism is gone…really. We all want peace just as much as those who oppose the war or the military or those on the opposite side of the political fence. Unfortunately, it takes an act of threat against our nation to make “some” stand up and remember how important our armed forces really are in preserving our independence. It’s foolish to think any of us “want” to go to war. It’s even more foolish to not recognize that freedom does indeed come with a price.
I hope you will take time to remember what our brave service men and women sacrifice for you and me today.
This soldier was an 86 year old WWII vet holding the flag of his son's casket who was killed in action in the Korean War. The picture was taken during a Vietnam Veterans Memorial service in 1982.
Their service is very near and dear to their hearts for the love of their country. Please remember them today.