I came of age during the Vietnam War. It was a terrible time and the country was divided much as it is now but for different reasons.
Those who returned from that war did not get a parade and were in fact spit upon and called names like “baby killers”and worse.
It was wrong and despicable to blame the servicemen who did their duty for the mistakes and short-sightedness of politicians. The motivation for such vitriol was to encourage young men to desert to Canada rather than serve. That so few did so is a tribute to a generation that had a sense of love for their country even though most of them could see it was a war we had no intention of actually winning.
It took until the Reagan administration for a sense of respect to be restored to our military and cover the shame of how veterans were treated in the wake of Vietnam.
Since that time I like to go out of my way to show my appreciation to those who serve or have served. So, toward that end I was able to read the following in my church yesterday.
Tomorrow is November 11th. We call it Veteran’s Day and people tend to confuse it with Memorial Day, another day that is associated with the military.
Memorial Day started after the American Civil War and was associated with that war for a long time. Today Memorial Day is to remember all those who died in America’s various wars, declared or otherwise.
It’s celebrated every year on 11 November to commemorate the armistice signed between the Allies of World War I and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning—the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918. (wiki)
The symbol of Remembrance Day is the red poppy.
Veterans Day or our version of Remembrance day honors all American veterans, whether living, dead in action, or deceased from other causes. In this way it differs from Memorial Day which honors only those killed in action.
Armistice Day ended WW1. WW1 was supposed to be the war to end all wars. The horror of that conflict was supposed to be a jolt to mankind and wake up mankind to war’s horror. The League of Nations was supposed to prevent further wars much as the UN is supposed to do now.
We’ve seen how that’s worked out and we know as Christians that short of Jesus’ return war will be with us as an ever present reality.
Hence our need for a military and the men and women who volunteer to serve-a number of whom are among us, either as retired, reserves, National Guard or presently active. Please stand.
Thank you! You and your service to our country is appreciated.