Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Of Veterans and Days

Last week America and Canada paused to remember and honor their veterans -- the brave men and women of the armed forces. There were special ceremonies, parades, speeches and moments of silence throughout North America paying tribute to servicemen and women. November 11 was chosen for this special day of recognition in commemoration of the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year 1918 -- the hour, month and day that hostilities ended in "The Great War" or "the war to end all wars." Up until that date, the world had not witnessed such devastation and human impact from war. The entire world was altered in a way unparalleled before that conflict. WW I saw the utilization of killing methods and machines far beyond the imagination of the common man: poison gas, flame throwers, heavily armored tanks, machine guns, long-range cannons and bomb-dropping airplanes maimed and killed combatants and civilians alike on a scale never before seen.

In spite of this death and destruction -- and the unmistakable alarm that such unrestrained hostility should have sounded -- the world was by no means finished with war. World War II, Korea, Vietnam, the conflict in the Gulf, Iraq and Afghanistan have each taken their deadly human toll around the globe. And there appears to be no end in sight when it comes to a lasting and reasonable peace either. Mankind's sinister appetite for war and political dominance show little chance of subsiding. And with each new or resurrected conflict there is always the need for soldiers and their willpower to fight. Those men and women who march into battle are the true backbone and muscle of any military.

As we move past our nation's special day of remembrance, let us not forget to honor and affirm the veterans of our country. Like all of us, men and women in uniform knew the stresses of ordinary, daily life. More significantly, however, they also knew that at any time they may be called upon to fight and even lay down their lives for the sake of the greater good. Those who paid the ultimate price in service to this country hold a special place in our national and personal memories, as do those soldiers who have returned from service. Together they have created -- and now share -- a valorous tradition that endures for the ages.

As we move forward, let us seek out the brothers and sisters among us who have worn the uniform. Let us thank and walk beside them for their considerable sacrifices on our behalf. Let us seek ways to support and befriend them and the military. This can be anything from sending care packages to active duty troops to sitting and listening to stories of World War II, Korea, Vietnam or other conflicts. Let us never take for granted the courage it requires to put on the uniform. Let us be outspoken in our honor. Let us remember that though Veterans Day has passed, we can still count every day as a day to honor our nation's soldiers.

Thank you, veterans, for going above and beyond.

The service standard you have set empowers us all.


The Layman said...
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The Layman said...

Can you imagine our Heavenly Father up there watching and thinking. " I'm going to have to teach them how to fight better?" And then we found more technology to be cleaner warriors with less dead or maimed civlians. And along comes Ali Jones - with a truck load of "sneaky bombs", and asking, "Where's the bus?" It's not easy trying to do the right thing.