This Wednesday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day. While we’re all aware that it’s the day we honor veterans, some may have forgotten how the day came to be.
World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, but the actual fighting had ended seven months earlier with the armistice. This went into effect on the 11th hour or the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.
It became known as Armistice Day and was officially declared a holiday in the United States in 1926, and a national holiday 12 years later. The name was changed to Veterans Day on June 1, 1954.
When I was a little girl, Veterans Day was a big deal at our elementary school. Everybody honored both the military and law enforcement. Teachers and the administration stressed the importance of these groups.
Of course, that was back in the day when we also sang Christmas carols and Hanukkah songs during December.
On Veterans Day, all of us with parents who served in the military came to school for a big assembly. Everybody sat with their respective branches, so we sat proudly in the Air Force section.
My dad fought in the Korean War. Though I didn’t really know what that meant, I was fiercely proud of his service.
During the assembly, we all sang songs representing each military branch. We had practiced those songs several times a week in music class for months. Again, that’s something I suspect is no longer done in schools.
When it was time to sing a song, each group stood and faced the American flag and belted out the words.
Of course, the assembly began with the Pledge of Allegiance, the way all assemblies did back then. Thanks goodness our children do still say the pledge in school, although I’m sure there are schools somewhere that ban that too.
There were a few speeches at our Veterans Day assembly and it ended with all of us singing “America the Beautiful” and the national anthem.
At the end of the assembly, there was such a feeling of unity and patriotism in the room, I still remember it all of these years later.
There is something so sad about the divisiveness in our country today. People disparage the police, a group who puts on uniforms and heads out every single day to do a job most of us wouldn’t dream of taking on.
Sure, there are a few who abuse their positions, but we have a system in place to deal with them if it occurs.
I love our military and law enforcement personnel. The fact that there are those willing to defend and die for our freedom and ability to live our lives in peace, is truly humbling.
I’m sure my elementary school’s attitude about the police and the military influenced my patriotism. I find it sad that seems to be gone or disappearing.
Please join me in praying for our country, for peace and for healing. Especially think of our Veterans on Wednesday.
Pray for those who are currently serving, those who have served and those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice.
Adlen Robinson is author of “Home Matters: The Guide to Organizing Your Life and Home.” E-mail her at firstname.lastname@example.org.