MY POINT OF VIEW: New veterans made every day

by Gary Kennedy

November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson set November 11 aside as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. President Wilson stated, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations”. The day was to have a suspension of work beginning at 11:00 a.m. On June 4, 1926, the U.S. Congress officially recognized the end of World War I. The world’s worst war had come to an end; Armistice Day had begun.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5U.S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the Eleventh of November of each year a legal holiday, a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace. The intention of Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor those who served in World War I. After World War II and Korea, the 83rd Congress was urged by veteran organizations to change the word Armistice to Veterans. That is when (public law 380) was made effective (6-1-1954). November 11 directed the holiday to legally become Veterans Day.

So that tells us how it happened and when it happened but it was supposed to end with “The War of all Wars”, World War I. World War II slipped in with even greater death and destruction. Then come the Korean War in June 29, 1950, which once again brought about more death and destruction leaving widows and orphans and thousands of broken hearted parents and friends. Many veterans became veterans again. The same occurred with Vietnam.

The world never learning from history, decided to give it a go again in the Middle East which also left voids in many family units. World War I left us 20 million deaths and 21 million wounded. World War II, military deaths were between 21-25 million which included those in captivity; those we couldn’t bring home. Korea wasn’t quite so bad, only 1.9 million military casualties. Then came Vietnam, which had 58,200 U.S. military losses. Looks like we are beginning to learn our lesson. We seem to be giving less and less of our precious resources, our sons and daughters.

Last but certainly not least is the multiple conflicts and incursions in the Middle East, which have taken nearly 10,000 of America’s finest. Not too bad you say; well, I guess I should mention there have been more service related suicides than there are from combat in these Middle East conflicts. Why is that?

Diminished public support for the country’s ongoing wars, a sexual assault epidemic in the military ranks, a masculine military culture (consider hazing and other demeaning events). Last but certainly far from the least there has been more civilian deaths then military deaths. Wow! So, as you can see there is a lot to all of this, as well as the creation of a veteran. So, I would like you to ponder on my key word SUPPORT.

“The making of a soldier is the creation of a Veteran”. He or she went to school with you, and played sports with you, went to church with you and perhaps may have even married you. He/she is one of us now and forever, in the good and the bad times. When the uniform comes off and the wrinkles begin to form and steps are not always steady, they most likely will end up needing your help and that of the Veterans Administration. When they reach out don’t let them fall. Be there for them as they were for you. We, in these United States of America, walk tall and free because of their sacrifice. Try to understand how they feel if they are ignored, especially in an hour of need.

As I always say, “it isn’t what you take with you; it’s what you leave behind”. The Lord Giveth and the Lord Taketh Away, Job 1:21, thou Shalt Not Kill, you shall not murder, is one of the 10 Commandments in the Torah; the Quran states, if any one slew a person unless it be for murder or for spreading mischief in the land it would be as if he slew the whole people; and if anyone saved a life, it would be as if he saved the life of the whole people. These references are for individuals and expectance is expected to be acknowledged by the individual thus if adhered to will reach the collective.

If a veteran is given a fair shake he or she will be just fine. As longs as we don’t follow the Good Books there will be veterans. The answers to all are there. It is your duty to search. God bless and have a happy and safe Veterans Day with those you care for, and God bless the veteran who gave his/her all for each and every one of us.


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