We’ve said it before — 2020 has been a year unlike any other.
We have, and continue to struggle through a global pandemic, still looking for the light at the end of that very long tunnel. We were struck by massive wildfires in the west, and other natural disasters around the U.S. We’ve had protests across the country, raising awareness for much needed racial equality in America, but unfortunately in some cases, these protests have erupted into riots resulting in senseless violence and destruction. And we’ve experienced a very contentious election year — unprecedented in many ways — and it appears we haven’t seen the end of that, either.
The bottom line is there have been, and continue to be a number of events that are tearing at the very fabric of our country. But it is imperative that we all look for ways we can come together, instead of focusing on those opinions and events that only serve to drive a wedge between us.
One such event that should serve to bond us together is Veterans Day, which takes place this Wednesday, Nov. 11.
Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11 because it is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I hostilities between the allied nations and Germany in 1918. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower officially changed the name of the Nov. 11 holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. But in 1975, President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to Nov. 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
We have veterans, both young and old, who live among us. And there are so many others who paid the ultimate price and gave their lives for this country. They all deserve our utmost gratitude and respect, for without them, America would not be what it is today. Our military personnel give so much in order for us to enjoy the freedom we have, freedom we all too often take for granted.
Because of ongoing COVID-19 precautions, most of the usual events honoring our veterans have been modified or canceled altogether this year. That means it’s even more important to let them know they — and what they did for this country — are not forgotten.
So as you go about your business this Veterans Day, take an opportunity to ponder what the meaning of the holiday is really all about. Likely you know someone who has served, or is serving in our armed forces. Take the time to say thank you, or even better, find a way to show them what their service means to you.