“It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should THANK GOD that such men lived.” And we do.
At the VFW’s website you will find the origins of Veteran’s day: In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. This site, on a hillside overlooking the Potomac River and the city of Washington, became the focal point of reverence for America’s veterans.
Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation’s highest place of honor. In England, Westminister Abbey, In France, the Arc de Triomphe. These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I fighting at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918. The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. The day became known as Armistice Day.
Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a Congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar Congressional action. If the idealistic hope had been realized that World War I was “the war to end all Wars,” November 11 might still be called Armistice Day. But only a few years after the holiday was proclaimed, war broke out in Europe. Sixteen and one-half million Americans took part. Four hundred seen thousand of them died in service, more than 292,000 in battle.
Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of WWII and Korea, Congress was requested to make this day an occasion to honor those who have served America in all wars. In 1954 President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day.
So here we are today, still remembering, still honoring those who have served this great country.
Dwight D. Eisenhower said; “Let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us re-consecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
Veterans Day is a day to remember, to honor, and to pay respect to our nation’s uniformed Patriots — Navy, Army, Air Force, Marines, and the Coast Guard. Men and women who knowingly, and willing, put themselves on the line so that we might live in peace.
We will forever be grateful as we remember those who have paid the ultimate price to purchase our freedom and to guarantee that freedom. Of those who paid that ultimate price; General Patton said “It is foolish and wrong to mourn the men who died. Rather, we should thank God that such men lived.”
One of my listeners from my first radio show from Akron, Ohio; Julie Barkey ost her son Michael in Iraq. I kept his picture on my refrigerator so that I would NEVER forget to thank God for him.
Another young man, from Canton, Ohio; Army 1st Lt. Aaron Seesan died in Iraq as well. Six years before he died, while he was still attending high school, he had written a poem that had been published in the Washington High School Quill. It was quite prescient. Here is a portion of what he wrote:
“All mortal beings, which God brought forth, die the same. Do not morn me if I should fall in a foreign land think this of my passing. In a far off field a finer soil mixed with the foreign sand. A dust that is American. A dust that laughed, cried, and loved as an American. On this plot there shall be A little piece of America, a patch for the free man which no oppressor can take. Mourn not my terrible death, but celebrate my cause in life. Viewed noble or not. I would have sacrificed and gave all that I had to give. Not to make man good, but only to let the good man live.”
- Aaron Seesan we will celebrate your life and not forget.
Today, Karen Vaughn will join me. She and her husband Billy are the parents of fallen Navy SEAL, Aaron Carson Vaughn (SEAL Team VI). On August 6, 2011 Aaron was killed in action in the Tangi River Valley of Afghanistan when a chopper (call sign Extortion 17) carrying thirty Americans was shot from the sky. The day Aaron’s life ended theirs began again. Karen has become of friend of mine. Her son was beautiful inside and out. They loved him. He loved this country. He died in service to this country. In service to you and me. We will cannot forget him.
We thank God that you lived. That all of you lived. And that all of you laid down your life so that others might live. And live free. Take a moment today to think about those men and women who gave all that they had to give in a battle for your freedoms. For responding to what they believed to be a higher calling. Thank God that such men and women lived and honor them by remembering them.