Sunday, November 11, 2012

Veterans' Day, 2012

Today is the American holiday we call Veterans' Day - the day we set aside to honor those who have served in the armed forces, and especially those who have served during wartime. It was originally known as Armistice Day, and was celebrated on November 11th to mark the day in 1918 on which the armistice ending the First World War was signed ...

It was changed to Veterans' Day after the end of World War II to honor those who had served in all the nation's wars. It is related to the American holiday of Memorial Day, celebrated on the last Monday of May, which honors those who have died in military service.

Every young boy plays at being a soldier, and toy guns are a part of growing up in this country. What's lost on most people, though, is that playing war games as a child is fun, while playing at real war as an adult is something quite different ...

On this Veterans' Day, take a moment from your holiday shopping and remember the sacrifices made by those who have served the nation in its wars. In 23 years of service, I never once heard a shot fired in anger ... many others weren't so lucky, and they deserve your thanks and support.

And as George Orwell once said*:

"People sleep peaceably in their beds at night only because rough men** stand ready to do violence on their behalf."

Thank a veteran. You owe him (or her) more than you know.

Have a good day. More thoughts tomorrow.


* This is a popular quote, but may actually have originated as a paraphrase of a line in Orwell's 1945 essay "Notes on Nationalism," where he wrote, "Those who 'abjure' violence can only do so because others are committing violence on their behalf." I think both versions are excellent.

** Of course, this now includes women, but you get the idea.


Kristen Lavransdrittsekkdatter said...

Our veterans rightly should be honored for their service. Right you are, Bilbo!

Elvis Wearing a Bra on His Head said...

Aptly written, Bilbo! I'll honor the veterans today.

eViL pOp TaRt said...

We owe our veterans so much, and they deserve our unending thanks.

Thank you, Bilbo!

Mike said...

Happy veterans day.