“Some gave all and all gave some.” What stirs in your heart when you think of what this means?
Here at Alpha, we reflect on Veterans Day with the realization that some people may not even know or understand the meaning of Veterans Day.
Historically, The Great War officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting actually ceased seven months earlier on November 11, 1918. It was said to be on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year. This day was regarded at the end of “the war to end all wars”.
The following year President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nation…”
But November 11, 1918 wasn’t to be the end of “the war to end all wars.” It was just a pause when the world caught a glimpse of peace and expressed gratitude to the veterans who fought so bravely to secure it.
Veterans Day is a celebration to honor our heroes for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Persian Gulf War, and OEF/OIF were to follow. And then there were the attacks of September 11, 2001 reminding us that peace continues to elude us. Our enemies continue to look for opportunities to strike hard against us, to destroy our liberty and way of life. Who stands in their way?
The current political culture in our country is volatile. Even families get divided over party affiliations and over issues that affect our country every day. But, we have the right to speak our minds; to worship; to bear arms to defend ourselves; to take our grievances to our elected officials and, at times, vote against them when they don’t seem to listen.
Unfortunately, all the bickering can divide us. We can lose focus on what’s really important. Let’s silence the noise today and feel what this day is about. What stirs in your heart? For me, our veterans inspire me. They help me see the heart of America.
Veterans Day reminds us of our strength and seemingly inexhaustible empathy and generosity to fellow Americans and to those in foreign countries, even in the face of horror.
We are the light of liberty to the world. We are the most generous nation in the world. And today, each of us carries a piece of the Veterans Day spirit within us. I hope you will reflect on the meaning of Veterans Day, and be inspired. Let us all give thanks to our veterans, the ones that gave some, and the ones that gave all.
Note: All representation coordinated by Alpha is provided by our employees, the Advocates, who are accredited by the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). No private organization that trains and employs accredited agents has been legally recognized by the VA for the purposes of preparation, presentation, and prosecution of claims. This work must be done by the Advocates themselves and not organizations.