Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Veterans' Day!

When the end came to World War I, November 11, 1919 was set aside to commemorate the sacrifices made by American soldiers to gain a lasting peace for the world. Called Armistice Day, soldiers who survived the war marched in parades through their home towns. Dignitaries and veterans made speeches and held ceremonies of thanks for the peace that had been won. Had WWI been the "war to end all wars," we would probably still observe Armistice Day today.

After WWII, Armistice Day continued to be observed, but Americans realized that there was a need to recognize those who had made sacrifices in other conflicts.

In 1954, President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, and called upon Americans everywhere to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace. He issued a Presidential Order directing the head of the Veterans Administration, now the Department of Veterans Affairs, to form a Veterans Day National Committee to organize and oversee the national observance of Veterans Day. November 11 was designated as Veterans Day to honor veterans of all U.S. wars. In 1971 President Nixon declared it a federal holiday on the second Monday in November, but it became apparent that November 11 was too historically significant to bypass, so in 1978 Congress formally returned the observance of Veterans Day to the customary date of November 11.

So, today I give thanks for the great sacrifices of all who have served our country through military service. I pray for those who need comfort and encouragement to receive it; I pray for those needing services to receive them. I pray also that every living veteran will know the gratitude of a thankful nation.

I give thanks for the dedication of all members of our military as they serve faithfully in and out of harm’s way. I pray for protection for each one, regardless of their post or responsibilities; I pray for encouragement and strength for those who are experiencing multiple deployments—some as many as five or six—asking God to cover them with His care and reveal to them His love.


(Thank you Uncle Kar Kar!)

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