The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

Opinion

November 10, 2013

Thank a veteran today and every day

— 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?

Tomorrow, 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

Which foreign crisis is the biggest threat to the security of the United States?

Russia-Ukraine
Israel-Palestine
Iraq
None of the above
     View Results
Facebook
AP Video
The Carbon Trap: US Exports Global Warming UN Security Council Calls for Gaza Cease-fire Traditional African Dishes Teach Healthy Eating 13 Struck by Lightning on Calif. Beach Baseball Hall of Famers Inducted Israel, Hamas Trade Fire Despite Truce in Gaza Italy's Nibali Set to Win First Tour De France Raw: Shipwrecked Concordia Completes Last Voyage Raw: Sea Turtle Hatchlings Emerge From Nest Raw: Massive Dust Storm Covers Phoenix 12-hour Cease-fire in Gaza Fighting Begins Raw: Bolivian Dancers Attempt to Break Record Raw: Israel, Palestine Supporters Rally in US Raw: Air Algerie Flight 5017 Wreckage Virginia Governor Tours Tornado Aftermath Judge Faces Heat Over Offer to Help Migrant Kids Kangaroo Goes Missing in Oklahoma More M17 Bodies Return, Sanctions on Russia Grow Raw: Deadly Tornado Hits Virginia Campground Ohio State Marching Band Chief Fired After Probe
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