Ok, I missed blogging on Saturday....so I am going to do two today. Today is a very special day to me. It is Veteran's Day. I love this day. It is a day that I get to honor some very special people that go unnoticed a lot. My father is a WWII vet and my husband is a Vietnam vet...and I have countless friends that have served from Korea to Iraqui Freedom. It does not matter which war they served in...the fact is...that they said, "Yes!" They put their lives out there on the line so that my life would go on as it always has. During the Arbor service today I read a little clip about the origin of Veterans Day. It goes something like this: In 1918, on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month, the world rejoiced and celebrated. After four years of bitter war, an armistice was signed. The "war to end all wars" was over.
November 11, 1919 was set aside as Armistice Day in the United States, to remember the sacrifices that men and women made during World War I in order to ensure a lasting peace. On Armistice Day, soldiers who survived the war marched in a parade through their home towns. Politicians and veteran officers gave speeches and held ceremonies of thanks for the peace they had won. Congress voted Armistice Day a federal holiday in 1938, 20 years after the war ended. But Americans realized that the previous war would not be the last one. World War II began the following year and nations great and small once again participated in a bloody struggle. After the Second World War, Armistice Day continued to be observed on November 11.
In 1953 townspeople in Emporia, Kansas called the holiday Veterans' Day in gratitude to the veterans in their town. Soon after, Congress passed a bill introduced by a Kansas congressman renaming the federal holiday to Veterans' Day. 1971 President Nixon declared it a federal holiday on the second Monday in November.
Americans still give thanks for peace on Veterans' Day. There are ceremonies and speeches and at 11:00 in the morning, most Americans observe a moment of silence, remembering those who fought for peace. I thought it was such an important and selfless act that I had the veterans in the service stand so that we too could thank them for all they did…..and then I prayed a very simple prayer while they remained standing. It went something like this: Dear Heavenly Father, Thank you so much for each person standing here today. Thank you father that you gave them the heart and strength to serve our country…..just as you gave your son Jesus the heart and strength to die for us so many years ago. Dear Lord, bless these veterans who are present with us today and the families of the ones who are with you today. We ask these things in your name, Amen. After the prayer Rhonda and I sang God Bless America. Did you know it was written by Irving Berlin? Did you know that what we actually sing is merely the chorus of the song? At Waverly today I spoke briefly about Veterans and my heart for them. I then sang, God Bless the U.S.A. Tears flowed down my face and I had to close my eyes while I sang it because I do have such a big ole spot for the Vets....at 2:00 I was supposed to sing at the Veteran's Day Event at the Sportsplex. Immediately after the colors were presented....I sang the National Anthem acapello. Col. Biff Hadden was the keynote speaker and his words were very moving....then it happened....the laying of the wreaths began....for each monument...I did fine through the Korean war....and then came Vietnam....I felt a catch in my throat....the next one was Desert Storm....and a tear or two fell onto my cheek....when the Gold Star mother laid the wreath on the memorial. She was a Gold Star mother....because her son died during Desert Storm....and I knew him.....then came Iraqui Freedom parents...there were two sets...and they were Gold Star mothers as well....their sons are among the casualties from this current war....and I knew one of them.....I composed myself....only to have my skin jump from my body as the guard presented a 21 gun salute. I do not like louded...unexpected noises...and my husband told me he almost had to laugh out loud when the first set of guns went off. After the salute...came Taps...and if that was not enough to have me melting down....it was my turn to sing again....God Bless the U.S.A. Closing my eyes...so the audience would not see the tears falling from my face....I sang my heart out. I love singing this song for the Veterans....Have a great day Guys...and Gals...this one is for you. Thanks for all you did...and are still doing. I salute you!
God Bless the U.S.A. Signing off, Karen
To Joey, With Love....WINNER!
7 months ago