The Enid News and Eagle, Enid, OK

Opinion

November 10, 2012

Nov. 11 a day set aside to remember people who fought, died for freedom

ENID, Okla. — “... the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

That line from our national anthem sums up what we all should be thinking today.

We remain a free country today, enjoying the privileges of that freedom, because of the sacrifices made by many brave men and women. It is those people — veterans of our armed services — we honor today with Veterans Day.

Nov. 11 is the day set aside to honor veterans. Originally, it was called Armistice Day and was created to honor veterans of World War I, the “war to end all wars.”

In 1938, Congress passed legislation making Nov. 11 a legal holiday. In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, lawmakers acted again, this time removing the word “Armistice” and replacing it with “Veterans,” and the day became a time to honor all veterans.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, when President Woodrow Wilson, in November 1919, proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day, he did it with the following words: “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 nations …”

Wilson’s words hold true today.

Sometimes, we take things for granted. We don’t stop to think about how lucky we are, how good we have it and how many people across the world wish they could enjoy half the blessings we have.

We have those things because of our veterans. Take the time today to say “thank you” to a veteran.

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