The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

November 11, 2013

A special thank you - everyday - on this Veterans Day

ATHENS —

Ted was 19 at the invasion of Normandy.

Brad was 21 on a submarine in the South Pacific.

Ben was 20 on a frozen battlefield in Korea.

John was 22 in the jungles of Vietnam.

So, what were you doing when you were that age?

Today, we honor Ted, Brad, Ben, John and others who wore — and still wear — the uniforms of the U.S. military.

For a bit of history, Veterans Day originated as Armistice Day, which was celebrated in 1919 as the first anniversary of the end of World War I — at 11 a.m. Nov. 11, 1918. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 setting Nov. 11 as a day of “thanksgiving” with prayer and activities to perpetuate peace.

After World War II and the Korean War, which saw millions of Americans serve in the military, Congress and President Eisenhower changed “Armistice Day” to “Veterans Day” in 1954.

Meanwhile, the lives of those four men and the millions of others were forever changed when they committed themselves to serving us and protecting our freedoms.

Those four names, by the way, were not picked at random. Three of those men are my uncles and one — Ben — is my father.

Like a lot of us, Veterans Day carries a special meaning as I think about what they did at such a young age while knowing what I did when I was their age — I was in college — as well as two of my sons (my youngest is a high school senior). But my oldest son is a lieutenant in the Army National Guard so he may one day have to deploy overseas to defend our interests and way of life.

So, on the 11th day of the 11th month, we salute those who have served and are serving.

However, for all they’ve done and for all they’re doing, it just doesn’t seem right to thank them just one day a year.

But, today, tomorrow and every day, as one proud son, nephew and father, I say “Thank you.”

 

Budd McLaughlin is managing editor of The News Courier.

1
Text Only
Opinion
Photos


Poll

Do you believe America will ever make another manned flight to the moon or another planet?

Yes
No
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
Judge Ponders Overturning Colo. Gay Marriage Ban Airlines Halt Travel to Israel Amid Violence NYPD Chief Calls for 'use of Force' Retraining VA Nominee McDonald Goes Before Congress Bush: Don't Worry, Sugarland Isn't Breaking Up US Official: Most Migrant Children to Be Removed Police Probing Brooklyn Bridge Flag Switch CDC Head Concerned About a Post-antibiotic Era Raw: First Lady Says `Drink Up' More Water Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment
Twitter Updates
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Stocks
Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
Business Marquee