The date at the top of this page tells us today is Nov. 11.
This date was designated in 1954 as Veterans Day, a day to honor all veterans who have served. This day is one we should all circle on our calendars so we can pay tribute to family members, neighbors and friends who have served in the armed services. How grateful we all should be since it is the dedication of those in the armed services that we can enjoy our life in America each day.
It is because of those who served that I am able to write this column freely and reporters can gather the news of the day and share it because of the freedoms they have provided for us. Last week as in no other, I was grateful for the opportunity to cast my ballot in an election without fear of reprisal. We also have the freedom to worship as we please and protest as we share our opinions through our freedom of speech.
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day, commemorating the signing of the agreement that ended World War I at 11 a.m. November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11 day of the 11th month).
World War II veteran Raymond Weeks sought to expand Armistice Day to honor all veterans rather only those who had died in service during World War I. The first Veterans Day was celebrated in 1947. Mr. Weeks was honored by President Ronald Reagan with the Presidential Citizenship Medal and was named Father of Veterans Day by Elizabeth Dole.
The 83rd Congress, after the urging of veterans organizations, changed the name of this day in 1954 to Veterans Day. It is a day set aside to honor all veterans, those who served and those who gave the ultimate sacrifice during war.
My heartfelt thanks to each one who has served and who is serving, giving so much so we can enjoy freedoms at home. My thanks, too, to each family who cares for life at home while those serving are deployed and many times then cares for fallen soldiers when they return home after suffering greatly during their service to their country. I would urge you to call a veteran today and express your appreciation.
Although attending a service to honor veterans is more difficult this year, take a moment to remember. If you are not able to attend a service find the James C. Phillips and Miriam Morrow song, “We Will Remember.” James C. Phillips composed and plays the accompaniment for this amazing song with Miriam Morrow adding the words that stir the emotions on the meaning of this day.
The version I listen to is on YouTube with the Emmanuel Congregational Choir singing the powerful and touching words. The pictures in this video also touched my heart as the choir sings the words penned by Miriam Morrow, “We will remember … our fallen soldiers that we praise, the lives they gave for freedoms saved.”
The words continue telling the listener, “they gave the sacrifice which was the price — their lives, for us. We will remember.”
We remember all veterans today, and I will call to express my appreciation for each one’s service. If you are in a store or in town and see a veteran, please take a moment — at a safe distance while masked — to say “Thank you for your service!” Let this be a year when we all remember.
My thanks this week to the young woman at the Speedway Plaza Subway window. When we stopped for subs Sunday evening before going to the Eisenhower Locks to watch ships passing (which we did), the young woman who brought our order was delightful. Our subs were brought to the window, and her eyes were smiling.
“Enjoy your meal,” she said cheerfully. “Have a good one!”
I loved that greeting. How marvelous to be wished well at the Subway window. Not only did it make our Sunday evening complete, it reminded me of an earlier time.
Francis Hutto at the deli counter at Hannaford and then Walmart always had my order in readiness and would always tell me to, “Have a good one!” We haven’t been able to see this terrific gentleman since early March.
What fun to hear his words shared at the drive-through window! Not only was the young woman’s greeting marvelous but the remembrance of an earlier time made me smile.
NORTH COUNTRY BEAUTY
The sunset was spectacular Sunday evening as we watched a ship pass through Eisenhower Lock, changing from a beautiful fall day to bright yellow and then crimson. The last few days have been warm with blue sky and sun shining — perfect fall days.
“The heat is on,” came a message from my sister in California this weekend. It seems what we think of as sunny California was a bit chilly the past few days.
While our temperature was 67 and even in the low 70s, my sister told me their temperature was in the 50s with it dipping to the 30s at night. Yes, it was so chilly that their heat automatically started on the West Coast.
The sky Monday evening as I worked on this column was stunningly beautiful with huge pink clouds across the evening sky. Isn’t the change of seasons in the north country wonderful? I certainly think so.
THOUGHT FOR THE WEEK
“The willingness of America’s veterans to sacrifice for our country has earned them our lasting gratitude.”
— Jeff Miller