On November 11th, many in our nation will take a time out from the ordinary daily grind to honor the men and women who have served bravely and selflessly in the Armed Forces.
This national holiday is just three years shy of its 100th birthday. Established originally as Armistice Day on November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the following:
“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…”
Since Armistice Day was primarily focused on those veterans of World War I, in 1954, Congress approved a name change for the November 11th holiday to Veterans Day, thus including all who served. In the first Veterans Day Proclamation, President Eisenhower stated:
“On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
Since its inception, parades and assemblies have been held in many cities around this great nation in order to pay respects to veterans, both young and old. In fact, my family will attend the Pope County Veterans Day Parade on Friday afternoon at 4:00. Anyone interested in attending should head for West Main Street in Russellville. The atmosphere is very positive, reverent, and respectful; a combination that would surely win the approval of all who were involved with its inception.