FOCUS: November – Veterans Day – Thank you for your service!

Next Wednesday is a special day in the lives of our veterans and all families who have served their country in the military.  Veterans Day is an official U.S. holiday observed annually on November 11th honoring military veterans who served in the United States Armed Forces.  The history of Veterans Day began with World War I with the armistice which was a cessation of hostilities by mutual agreement or a truce.  The agreement was signed and was the beginning of Armistice Day.  World War I officially ended June 28, 1919 with the treaty of Versailles.  The actual fighting between the Allies and Germany ended seven months earlier with the armistice, which went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918.  Armistice Day officially became a holiday in the U.S. in 1926 and a National Holiday called Veterans Day on June 1, 1954.  In 1968, the legislature changed the National Commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. Veterans Day was finally given the historical significance of November 11 in 1978.

Veterans Day is a special day at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier in Arlington Cemetery with an 11:00 a.m. service combining color guard representatives of all military services.  “Present Arms” is spoken and a Presidential wreath is placed at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Taps are played in honor of all fallen military represented at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.

Veterans Day is celebrated all around the country as each community plans parades, special military services, special programs and dinners to honor those who fought for their country.  The veterans total in 2015 was 18.8 million.  The number of females in the military totaled 1.6 million.  The total serving since 2015 is quite a bit more.  President Trump extended the Veterans Day celebration through the entire month of November.  The year of 2018 was the special anniversary of the end of World War I and President Trump designated November 2018 as National Veterans and Military Families month.

With the Coronavirus this year, folks will have to check their local newspapers and news media to find out which ceremonies will be held.  I am sure some services will be held to honor our military.  You might also contact our Convention and Visitor’s office for more information. 

The Jawbone Park has a wonderful salute to our military called the Walk of Valor, saluting our many men and women who have served our country in many battles.  These heroes have served in all units of the military all over the world.  I would invite our residents to take this Walk of Valor and see your family members and friends in their uniforms.  We are so proud of all who are on this Walk of Valor.  I believe there are around 500 men and women featured in banners along the wall.  If you have someone in your family who has served in the military or is serving today, call the Visitors Bureau, V.F.W. or the American Legion to see how you might honor your family member for the next Walk of Valor.  We thank all those who have served their country and remember those who never made it home.  We also give a salute to all those who make time to be sure every service member is placed in the Walk of Valor.  This is a very special presentation and we are so proud of our men and women who have served their country well.

Many pastors have been calling for prayer for our nation with the election of President of the United States of America.  Both parties have been very vocal about the choices for the direction of our country. Prayer is taking our thoughts, concerns, joys, fears and blessings to a higher power who can help solve any problems.  Now is the time to pray for our country, our leaders, our service men and women, and our newly elected president, who will be taking office in January. This is a time for all Americans to work together and honor those in the past, present and future who have served our country.  Take time to look at our American flag that waves as a symbol of our freedom.  One should have pride and respect to see the stars and stripes blowing in the wind.  Folks, our flag is a symbol of all those who worked so hard to be sure that our flag, our country and our people remain free for all to see.  Patriotism should be in our hearts, our minds, our efforts and our example to all. Let us never forget the thousands of brave soldiers who died, so that our families continue to be free.

I doubt that there is one family who has not seen a father or mother, son or daughter, brother or sister, or a close relative that has served in the military.  Some families never see their loved ones return. Many families see their loved ones return with injuries that are life altering.  We salute each and every man and woman who has put their life on hold to serve their country.  I am so proud of my father who served in World War II, my husband who served in Viet Nam, and my son who served quite a few years as an Army Recruiter.  I’m sure that each family can tell you abut their family members who served in the military. Let us always remember that without the courageous men and women of the Armed Forces, including our National Guard, we may be living in a country where our children are not free to go to school, our families are not free to worship, and we are told where and when we are to work without the salaries that many Americans are lucky to have.  Our freedom is not to be taken for granted. On November 11, Veterans Day, remember our veterans who served their country proudly, our men and women who serve our country today all around the world, and never forget the loved ones who gave their ultimate sacrifice so that we may continue to live in freedom.  Pray for our veterans and those who are keeping America safe.  Pray for our nation that we may work together in peace. My prayer is to live in the United States of America, which is One nation under God, Indivisible with Liberty and Justice for all.

I close with this Poem to share with you.                      

Remember our Veterans.                                                    

On Veterans Day we honor all,                                                   

Who answered to a service call.                                                 

Soldiers young and soldiers old                                                  

Fought for freedom, brave and bold.                                       

Some have lived, while others died.

We’re proud of all the soldiers who

Kept thinking of red, white and blue.

They fought for us and all our rights,

They fought through many days and nights.

And though we may not know each name,

We thank ALL veterans just the same.

Psalm 100 4-5: “Enter His gates with thanksgiving and His courts with praise.  Give thanks to Him and praise His name.  For the Lord is good, and His love endures forever.  His faithfulness continues through all generations.”

Days of celebration for November:  Taken from Woman’s Day

Nov. 1 – Cinnamon Day

Nov. 2 – Color the Word Orange Day

Nov. 3 – National Election Day

Nov. 5 – Love Your Red Hair Day

Nov. 8 – Parents as Teachers Day

Nov. 11 – Veterans Day

Nov. 13 – World Kindness Day 

Nov. 15 – America Recycles Day

Nov. 17 – Homemade Bread Day

Nov. 23 – Espresso Day

Nov. 26 – Thanksgiving Day (which should be every day)

Nov. 28 – French Toast Day


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