Veterans Day should not exist. In a perfect world, there would be no hate, no greed, no fighting, no disagreements, no wars and no reason for armed forces. The world would be a peaceful, loving environment for all of mankind. From the dawn of history, things did not go according to plan.
Veterans Day is a relatively new holiday, or rather a day when we should remember those who have served in the armed forces. It was first declared as Armistice Day by president Woodrow Wilson, after the ceasefire on the western front in World War I. The armistice was signed as a peace treaty to halt fighting on November 11, 1918. The agreement at the time was for countries to never engage in war again.
November 11 became Remembrance Day in most of the world and was still known as Armistice Day in the United States. It was not until 1938, that it became a legal holiday. In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill to change the name to Veterans Day.
Veterans Day has become a yearly tradition, recognizing those that have given service to our country through the armed forces. It includes veterans from all branches of service. The Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force and Coast Guard have all played an important role in defending our country and striving to ensure peace. They rank in all ages from new enlistees to active duty to retired. They each have had an active role in history from battling on the front lines to desk jobs and medical staff. Injured along the way physically or psychologically from their endeavors, all veterans deserve appreciation and remembrance on a special day.
Veterans Day is a holiday, not to be celebrated with a party like a happy occasion, but rather in the spirit of thanksgiving for the ones that have served. It is almost taken for granted from its first intent, as workers often get a day off and many schools are closed. Banks, libraries and most federal, state and city offices are closed for the day, as retail establishments rake in their profits. The day of remembrance has unfortunately turned into a long weekend of shopping and movies for some who may forget the reason for the day off.
Veterans Day should be a day of remembering peace, as it was first intended as Armistice Day. Including those that have served in the armed forces, the world should possibly remember other peacemakers such as parents, teachers, religious leaders, city workers, counselors, judges, lawyers and police. The job of keeping peace in the world is a joint venture amongst all citizens of the Earth and is an ongoing daily effort. A veteran of any career is one of service and experience. As we recognize war veterans, many others may deserve some merit as well.
Veterans Day only exists because of man’s selfishness and unacceptance of others in the world. The root of ongoing turmoil is due to the fall of man. The will to establish new empires, kingdoms and countries has resulted in warfare dating back to around 3000 B.C.
Forces were gathered to achieve and acquire greatness in the world. The quest for power became paramount. Disagreements between people groups produced hostility and unorganized riots. The early colonists fought with the Native Americans, but it was not until the time of the American Revolution that armed forces were needed. War was born from the sin of man and has been a fixture in the world’s evolution. The United States Army was founded on June 14, 1775. Two years later our American flag was accepted, as we recognize Flag Day on June 14. War became a necessary evil as we fought for our freedom from the British and gained independence. War continued as weapons and soldiers were aligned.
The United States developed a strong armed force of able bodied men over the last few centuries and has recently brought women into battle as well. The men and women of the armed forces do their duty and serve our country well. They are required for our protection and safety as a nation, because peace seems difficult to keep. Even within our own borders, groups of people have fought for freedom, rights and equality. The Civil War sadly produced many veterans of duty and demise.
Veterans Day can be quite complex when you examine the history and reasons it exists. It is really quite simple when you acknowledge the sacrifice those in uniform have made. The world is not perfect. No one can change history. Wars have happened and will likely continue as much as the world spins.
In the meantime, a day of remembrance is in place to honor those that have given of themselves to help restore peace in an imperfect world. Gratitude does exist as we remember our Veterans on each and every day. Ring your bells of peace at the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month in honor and appreciation. Veterans Day does exist for a reason.
Editorial by Roanne H. FitzGibbon