It was the eleventh hour of the eleventh day in the eleventh month in 1918 when the world celebrated a treaty that was signed ending what was to be “the war to end all wars” – World War I.
One year later, on what came to be known as Armistice Day, Americans came together to remember and honor the sacrifices of the men and women who served during the war. Soldiers who survived the war marched in parades and were honored by speeches and ceremonies recognizing their contribution to peace throughout the world.
Congress declared Armistice Day a national holiday in 1938.
After the Second World War, which was even worse than the first, Armistice Day continued to be observed. In 1954, Congress changed the name of the holiday to Veterans Day to include veterans of all United States wars.
It was Sept. 11, 2001 that our nation again began to again realize the value of those that daily put their lives on the line protecting the freedoms that we enjoy.
Today, we sit in church, free to worship. Each of us owns at least one Bible. We vote for the person that we believe will best lead our nation. Daily we are welcome to disagree with our government if we so choose.
Why can we enjoy these freedoms? Because the men and women in our armed forces understand that freedom has a cost. And since the birth of our nation, brave men and women have stepped forward, weighed the cost and chosen to lay down their lives in service to their fellow countrymen.
Thank you just doesn’t seem enough. We need to pass these truths on to future generations – and Veterans Day is a great place to start.
Pastor David Johnston