Sacrifice. That’s what I think of on Veteran’s day. I think of a young woman who is home alone while her husband is deployed. I think of families who live in two different states while a husband finishes his tour of duty before retirement, living his wife to hold the family together at home. I think of the children born while their mom or dad is oversees protecting our freedoms. I think of the moms who answered a knock at the door and on the other side are military personnel there to say, “I’m sorry to tell you, your son has died.”
Today, on Veteran’s Day, we have the opportunity to celebrate the sacrifice of men and women who served in our military, protecting our rights, defending our freedom, and keeping our nation safe. It’s a day to thank them…and their families.
Formerly known as Armistice Day, Veteran’s Day was originally founded as an American holiday to celebrate the end of World War I which occurred on November 11, 1918. However, it was not until 1938 that legislation passed making the date a legal holiday, “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day’” and was established to honor World War I veterans. By 1954, the US had not only faced World War I, but also World War II and the Korean War. Therefore, the veterans service organization urged the 83rd US Congress to amend the holiday established in 1938 to remove the word “Armistice” and exchange it for “Veterans” and on June 1, 1954, legislation was approved and the holiday acknowledged and honored American veterans of all wars. In 1968, a Uniforms Holiday Bill established the three-day weekend for federal employees that included four national holidays to be celebrated on Monday – Washington’s Birthday, Memorial Day, Veterans Day, and Columbus Day. Because of this Bill, Veteran’s Day was acknowledged on the fourth Monday of October rather than November 11th which caused both confusion and disagreement so many states ignored the new date and continued acknowledging November 11 as Veteran’s Day. President Ford signed a law on September 20, 1975 that returned the holiday to its original Date and since the law went into effect in 1978, Veterans Day has been observed on November 11. On August 4, 2001, US Senate Resolution 143, designated the week of November 11 – November 17, 2001 as “National Veterans Awareness Week,” calling for elementary and secondary students to be educated regarding the sacrificed and contributions that our veterans made.
The freedoms that we hold dear come with sacrifice and Autumn Parker captured this sacrifice in a poem written in 2003, entitled, “My Daddy’s Got Your Back.”
I am a small and precious child, my dad’s been sent to fight…
The only place I’ll see his face, is in my dreams at night.
He will be gone too many days for my young mind to keep track.
I may be sad, but I am proud. My daddy’s got your back.
I am a caring mother. My son has gone to war…
My mind is filled with worries that I have never known before.
Every day I try to keep my thoughts from turning black.
I may be scared, but I am proud…My son has got your back.
I am a strong and loving wife, with a husband soon to go.
There are times I’m terrified in a way most never know.
I bite my lip, and force a smile as I watch my husband pack…
My heart may break, but I am proud…My husband’s got your back.
I am a soldier… Serving proudly, standing tall.
I fight for freedom, yours and mine, by answering this call.
I do my job while knowing, the thanks it sometimes lacks.
Say a prayer that I’ll come home. It’s me who’s got your back.
Take a moment today and thank a veteran. Post a comment and list the names those in your family and friends that have served. To all of you … and your families… Thank You!