Monday, November 12, 2007

Veterans Day (Observed)

In 1926 Congress passed a resolution for an annual observance for those who had served in the First World War, euphemistically called “The War To End All Wars.” November 11th became a national holiday beginning in 1938 and was called Armistice Day. President Eisenhower had it renamed Veterans Day to include all veterans in 1954. Thanks to Executive Order 11582, President Nixon made this a day off in remembrance of Veterans Day. Great, a lot of people got the day off from work and the mail is not delivered. The remembrance became a sham; just another day off that makes for a long weekend. November 11 is the actual Veterans Day. It commemorates the 11th hour of 11th day of the 11th month; the time and date the Germans signed the armistice ending the First World War in 1918. Too many Americans have forgotten the significance of this observance to the gratitude we owe our veterans, the first line of the sheepdogs, against wolves, of our nation as LTC (RET) Dave Grossman exemplifies in this insightful article. Veterans are warriors/sheepdogs by the very definition of the oath they took to “...I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God." Yes, God is still acknowledged. I did not serve in the military and will not make any claims to the honor that needs to be bestowed upon our veterans. I am grateful and rightfully proud of the service of my two oldest children, a son and daughter. They served a cumulative 16 years active duty in the Navy. To those who have served; to those who are serving; to the coming generations of sheepdogs, I am thankful.

P.S. I am continually reminded of this poem from Kipling. Tommy Atkins is the equivalent to GI Joe.

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