I’m interrupting Wine Friday to talk about Veteran’s Day. I don’t see how one day among the rest of the year can possibly be adequate in honoring our veterans of all the wars since the end of The Great War, but I am grateful that our government chose to so honor them.
Veteran’s Day began as Armistice Day, the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, when a cease-fire went into effect; the beginning of the end of the Great War. In 1919, the first recognition of Armistice Day was held; but not until 1938 was Armistice Day declared a legal holiday. In Emporia, Kansas, a man named Stephan Riod, working with veterans from the Korean War, actively campaigned to change Armistice Day to honor ALL veterans; and in 1954, after many veteran’s groups applied pressure, the day was renamed Veteran’s Day.
In the early 70’s, the holiday was wrapped up in The Uniform Holiday Bill, a proposal to celebrate Washington’s birthday, Memorial Day, Columbus Day and Veteran’s Day on a national basis on Mondays, thus giving the American Worker a three day holiday. Vigorous campaigning saw Veteran’s Day return to the proper 11th day of the 11th month, but not until 1978.
My father fought in Korea – and he never talks about it. My cousin Mike went to West Point Military Academy, was in the military for 10 years, and went into the Reserves when he went to work for IBM. He was involved in Desert Storm. My Uncle Kenny was a POW – captured by the Japanese on Wake Island, and imprisoned for 5 years. The happiest day of my Grandmother’s life was when she got to hug him again, thin and changed though he was. My Uncle Lyn (Aunt Janie’s husband, my dad’s and Kenny’s sister, and Mike’s dad) was also in WW2, but he came through relatively unscathed. I come from a family of proud veterans. My husband does, too – his brother fought in Vietnam, and has terrible PTSD that he is just now, slowly, beginning to come to terms with. Their dad was also in Korea. Their grandfather took part in WW1. War tears families apart, and even when the servicemen and women return home, often they are never the same again. They deserve all our respect, every day of the year.
Oh yeah, something else is happening this 11-11-11. Many people are choosing to get married on this “magical” day; or to have their c-section babies this day. Whatever floats your boat, man. A quick scan of the internet shows more than one site declaring it to be “just a fancy number” while another site declared it the “Sun God” number; and still others warn that it’s bad luck. I guess it’s all in your perspective and in your belief system. So all you wonderful people getting married and having babies, good luck to you! Work hard at your relationships; that more than anything will “bless” your future.
Whether you get married, engaged, become pregnant, have a baby, buy stock, sell stock, have good or bad luck this 11-11-11, please do one important thing. Remember a veteran. Thank a veteran. Say a prayer, light a candle, be thankful that someone out there is fighting for our country (because I sure as heck wasn’t willing to do so, when I was able – were you?).
My dad, Chet Cunningham, wrote a book about Wake Island, mainly to include his brother’s reminiscenses of that time. You can find it on Amazon – it’s called Hell Wouldn’t Stop , an Oral History of Wake Island by the soldiers who lived through it.
To all the veterans out there – I give you hugs, and smiles, and a boat-load of respect. Thank You.
You are right. Everyday should honor veterans. Buy a cup of coffee, tell a soldier thank you for their service, anything to show our appreciation for their sacrifices.
Christine – It’s a great day to remember our military and veterans. We need to fly our flags high today. My dad was a SGT in the army in WWII. I think of him fighting for us, every day, but especially today. Your father’s book sounds fascinating!!
Charlene, my Dad’s book is amazing. What those men went through – it’s hard reading, but definitely fascinating. Thanks for stopping in!
Much appreciation and gratitude to all who serve, and their families! As your post illustrates, the family “goes to war” as well, in their own way. Happy Veteran’s Day!
Thank you so much for sharing this with us today. Being a veteran of 20 years, I will tell you I’ve never been so moved than when a stranger says “thank you for your service.” I think because it reminds me of the reasons I joined. I make it a point to thank those veterans that have come before me.
Commander(ret), United States Navy
Hugs, Jean! Thanks for stopping by, and thank you for your service.
Thanks for this. We need to remember our men who gave everything for us. Sometimes it’s easy to forget when it’s not on the evening news.
My family has always volunteered for duty, at the moment I have three newphews in some hot spots. I agree everyday should honor the work they do to keep us safe. Let the grace of God keep them safe also. Marian
Bless your family, Marian, and your three nephews – may they return safely.
Thanks Christine for reminding us that we should keep our veterans close in our prayers every day. I just came from a book signing at the Berkshire Rehab facility where I teach chair yoga a couple of times a month. I started doing this about four years ago and have built some wonderful relationships with the guys there, most of whom are veterans. They are an amazing group of guys and I’m honored to know them. I was signing copies of Heaven Is For Heroes and they were so excited to have a published author in their midst, and a book that talks about the recovery of a soldier and a family. There were tears, but they were smiling and laughing and even presented me with flowers. It was a blessing to be there today and know that I made their day a little more special.
PJ – what a blessing you must be to those veterans! Thanks for dropping by – you are an inspiration.
What a beautiful tribute, Christine. It is sad that one day per year, we gather to honor the fallen and one day per year we gather to honor all. The sacrifice, the bravery and dedication of our veterans is precious. Without them, our lives would not be as they are. I’m adding my thanks and hope that we can begin to appreciate all we have because of our military and that we can start working – together – to sustain the beauty of the country for which they sacrifice so much.
Thank you for writing this, Christine. It touches my heart. Most of the men in my family fought in either WWII or Vietnam. I’m sending out thanks to all who served, and still serve, and blessings to their families.
Thank you for this, Christine. God bless your father and realtives, and thanks to our “boys” serving our country this very minute.
I’m not in to numerology, so other than convenience (and a half-shot of remembering an anniversary or birthday) I don’t think 11/11/11 is any great shakes.
We’ll catch up on wine next week, right? 🙂
Our military often will not discuss what they have experienced during wartime. My great uncle wouldn’t talk about his service in WWII. But he served honorably, as did many of my extended family. We definitely owe them a debt of gratitude. A small thank you doesn’t seem enough, but it’s certainly a great place to start. Thanks for your post, Christine.
Wow! Great post, Christine. I always enjoy reading about people who are so connected with those who have fought in the wars. It has touched hundreds of thousands of lives which is unbelievable. So many men and women and others have been involved in wars throughout the years, we should dedicate if just a few moments to their memories.
I’m so glad you shared this history of Veteran’s Day. I had no idea. My uncle was a medic in Vietnam. He’s very disturbed by what he saw there. My second cousin Mike did three tours of Vietnam. He probably would have done a fourth tour had one of his fellow servicemen not stabbed him to death in a bar fight. Both my grandfathers served in WWII. Like you, I come from a family of fighters. 😀
Thank you all for dropping by and commenting. Lynne, yes I’m back to wine next week – hugs to your boy! To all the new commenters, Marian and PJ and Kate, thanks so much for your thoughts.
Hey everyone, if you want to get involved, try “write anyhero” – here’s the link. http://operationwritehome.org/anyhero.html It seems like such a simple thing, and yet so important, too.
A lovely, timely post Christine!
For all those brave men and women who have served, and who now suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder, a popular hypnotherapist is offering an online program, free to all Veterans, here: http://www.wendi.com/ptsdforveterans/
Hope this helps!
Bless you, Chellesie. I don’t know how many veterans read my blog, but hopefully the url will get passed along to those in need. Hugs honey!
I, too, come from a long line of service people – my dad, a brother, several uncles & great uncles, and a great aunt. In fact, a great aunt and a great uncle were at Pearl Harbor when it was bombed. I’ve joined the American Legion as part of the Auxiliary group which does various fund raisers to support our service people. I raise my glass (in honor of Friday) to those who serve and those who wait for them at home.
As for the magic of 11-11-11, I think I’ll work on getting married next year on 12-12-12 at midnight. The best part of that is with the world ending on 12-21-2012 at 11:00 am I’ll pretty much be guaranteed a fantastic marriage covering the honeymoon! Now I just need to find a man.
Maria, I SO want to be a bridesmaid! Let’s find the right guy for you, okay? Hugs honey!!!
I am thankful everyday to all the Veterans, especially my husband and my brother-in-law who served in Vietnam. And are now paying the price for it.
Vietnam. What a horrible time. Give your husband and BIL a hug from me. My BIL didn’t have many problems – until Desert Storm. That’s when his PTSD kicked in, big time. He’s still having to manage it, even after all this time. Hugs, Janie!
(notice the time. I just missed it…)
LOL DeeJ = 12:12 is pretty awesome!
Fantastic post, Christine! I just missed it as well. I also come from a family of service men. It has been amazing to watch everyone on Facebook post photos all day of their parents and grandparent in the service. Truly amazing. I have a girlfriend that works with a program out in the Midwest where they pair soldiers suffering from PTSD with dogs. From what I understand, it has been a really successful program and has saved lives. I’m in awe of how much she works every day to help these soldiers. You can read about a similar program here: http://articles.cnn.com/2011-07-04/living/dog.bless.you_1_ptsd-service-dogs-mutts?_s=PM:LIVING
Thanks Debra – I know my brother in law counts on his dog. What an awesome program!
While I never really planned to be a Veteran I did in fact serve for 20 years in the Coast Guard. My brother served 3 years in the Navy as a Quartermaster. My Father, Father-in-Law and all of my uncles served in World War II. This included the Navy and the Army. One of my Uncles (Stephan – my Mother’s oldest brother) served in at the major European and North African campaigns, including the 3rd waive of D-Day. He even brought my Aunt Jeanie from France as a war bride. Our daughter is also currently on active duty as a 2nd Lt in the Marine Corps.
While I am proud of all my fellow veterans I do pray daily that the divine powers give wisdom and guidance to our leaders who decide the fate of these brave sons and daughters. I think that we have gotten into some bloody messes very quickly and do not seem to learn from pass mistakes. I would suggest listening to a speech that ML King Jr. gave shortly before his assassination called “Beyond Vietnam”.
Hoping and praying for the well being of all our veterans, those on active duty now and the families and friends that support them.
Larry, thanks so much for stopping by. I had no idea you were Coast Guard! I salute you, sir. And I will keep your daughter in my thoughts and prayers, along with the rest of our sons and daughters on active duty. Hugs, dear!