Today, on Veteran's Day, I am thankful for the service of our country's veterans and all the freedoms that they so bravely fought for. Freedom of speech, religion, and many others that can sometimes be taken for granted. That's why it's so important to have commemorative days like this - to be reminded of what we have and for which we should be profoundly grateful.
November 11th goes by a few different titles. You'll hear it referred to as Armistice Day, Remembrance Day, and Veterans Day. The first refers to the historical event of the armistice being signed to end World War I. (Interesting note - an armistice isn't a surrender, but rather an agreement by both sides to cease fighting.) Britain later began to call it Remembrance Day, in honor of all soldiers who had passed, not just those who fought in the Great War.
The poppy became a popular symbol of WWI, as the vibrant red blossoms sprang up from some of the war's most ravaged battlefields. There's a beautiful poem written by Lt. Col. John McCrae, describing this sight.
In Flanders Fields
In Flanders fields the poppies blow Between the crosses, row on row,
That mark our place; and in the sky The larks, still bravely singing, fly Scarce heard amid the guns below. We are the Dead. Short days ago We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow, Loved and were loved, and now we lie,
In Flanders fields. Take up our quarrel with the foe: To you from failing hands we throw The torch; be yours to hold it high. If ye break faith with us who die We shall not sleep, though poppies grow In Flanders fields.
Here's my favorite musical rendition of this poem, arranged by Roger Emerson.
Not until 1954 was November 11th called Veterans Day in the United States. President Eisenhower signed a bill which rededicated the date as one to honor all Americans who served.
There is nothing wrong with America that faith, love of freedom, intelligence and energy of her citizens cannot cure. ~ Dwight D. Eisenhower
What are you thankful for today?
'Til next time,