• Jon Forrest

thanking our vets!

The Upward Look, by Jon Forrest

Thanking Our Vets!

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... These memorial gestures all took place on November 11, giving universal recognition to the celebrated ending of World War I conflict 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"....

Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of WW II 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....

A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date. SOURCE: VFW: The Origins of Veterans Day.

No one is more deserving of our gratitude than the men and women who have dedicated their lives to defend the freedom and constitution of our nation. They have laid their lives on the line for us with little remuneration or gratitude. On Memorial Day we recognize those who died in the military service to our nation, but on Veterans Day we celebrate all veterans whether they lived or died in the service. Many have sacrificed personal lives to serve us and, while some have referred to death as the ultimate sacrifice, some who survived have lived with permanent sacrifices such as poor health, loss of limbs or even mental stress such as PTSD (Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder) and other struggles. They did this for love of country and for their families and friends.

We could never thank them enough.

I still remember the vets who returned home from the Vietnam conflict to an ungrateful nation. They heard cries from ignorant citizens of insulting names like, “Baby Killer!” Some were even spat upon by the very people they had served. It was terrible and embarrassing to our country. This should never happen again.

Next Wednesday, November 11th is Veterans Day. If there is a Veterans Day ceremony somewhere try to attend it. Seek out a veteran, not only on that day, but as often as possible and say, “Thank you for your service.” Pay for a veteran or military service person’s meal or take them out or home with you for a meal.

It is my hope that each of us will do our part to show gratitude to our vets and to God for our vets. They are more than deserving of our appreciation.

This Sunday we begin a special November series of messages titled Thank You, Lord! Seasons of Thanksgiving. The initial message is Thankful for Veterans based on 2 Timothy 2:1-7. We will celebrate our veterans and show them our appreciation and we will learn how that there is an aspect of the Christian life similar to that of the military warrior. I hope you will come and share in this special service.

Thankful with you for our vets,

Jon

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