We’re all familiar with Veteran’s Day. But if we’re honest, most of us remember it differently than what was intended when it was proclaimed a holiday. The post office is closed, government services everywhere take the day off, and if you’re like me, you forget every time. Veteran’s Day almost turns into “everyone forget about it until you try to interact with the government” day.
That doesn’t make me happy. It’s not because of a guilt trip, but more because I do know what we’re remembering on Veteran’s Day. My 92-year-old Grandfather was an Army driver during World War 2, and he generally doesn’t talk about the war. Whether that’s because the memories are too hard or not, I don’t know. I’ve only heard him talk about it one time, actually – and the stories he told were things that would have scared me out of my wits if I’d been in his shoes. Stories like his sober me up fast. The time he got into a Jeep that had a blood-soaked front seat; the time he almost shot a fellow American because of the fog of war; the time he found himself, alone, on the other side of enemy lines.
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.
– Calvin Coolidge, 11/11/1911
In his inauguration of Armistice Day, President Coolidge intended that there be a moment of silence during the morning’s work. The holiday took its present name in 1954 at the urging of a World War II veteran named Raymond Weeks, and was signed into effect by President Eisenhower. Weeks was convinced that all veterans should be remembered for their service, most likely because he knew firsthand what a toll war takes on those who go into combat. War is terrible.
On behalf of all of us here at Smart Furniture, and from the bottom of our hearts, thank you to all who have served our country in the military. May war never be necessary again.