Written by William McNeill, Regional SMVF Navigator
Origins of Veterans Day
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the incessant boom of artillery abruptly went silent along the Western Front in France. World War I, War that started with the assassination of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria and his wife, Sophia, and had shattered the peace of over 100 years in Europe, came to an end with the signing of an Armistice in a railcar
The next year, in 1919, President Wilson proclaimed the first Armistice Day, which in 1926 became a permanent legal holiday. The day is also now known as Remembrance Day in the British Commonwealth of Nations. In 1954, the U.S. Congress—at the urging of veterans’ organizations—changed its name to Veterans Day to honor service members who had served in World War II and the Korean War as well. Since then, in America we honor Veterans every November 11th and recognize their value and contributions to our country.
So what does Veterans Day mean to me……today….the day before 11 November 2022? Over a hundred years later.
I look around here in this area and I know there are many Veterans that come from the same kind of families dedicated to service, dedicated to doing the right thing, dedicated to each other, and dedicated to bringing their brothers and sisters home alive. Dedicated to fighting for the kind of America they want to live in. Not fighting for an America they want to take control of. We fight for each other and what America can be. And we should NEVER forget that.
I think of men like Benjamin O Davis Jr and the rest of the amazing Tuskegee Airmen, who fought for a country that had not even given them civil rights yet, but knew they wanted to fight for what this country could possibly become. Their efforts and accomplishments were legendary. God bless them all.
I think about the reason I’m still walking this earth because of the actions of my fellow pilots, crewmen and shipmates. All of us watching each other’s back, quick vigilant actions that turned potential disasters into close calls. Men and women just doing their job and making sure it is done right, stopping our crew from launching in an aircraft that was not airworthy. Night time near mid-air collisions averted by our pilot because he trusted and listened to his crewmen, and reacted in a timely manner. I know how every day, truly, is a blessing. Thanks to my Brothers and Sisters in Arms.
Which brings me to my last point. All of us at the Western Tidewater CSB SMVF and SSG Parker Gordon Fox SPGP don’t want to see ANY of our Veteran Brothers or Sisters in Arms check out of Life early. You’ve given too much of yourself.
If you know a struggling Vet, or if you are a Vet seeking services and support, please contact us.
If you have or know of services and supports that may help us to help a Veteran or their family, please let us know, and we will get them steered in the right direction for help. Our staff will have flyers with our contact info on them, and we will seek out those in need.
To All that have served, serviced those that have served, and continue to provide supports for our Veterans and their Families, We Thank You Today and Everyday on this Veterans Day.