It happened in the 11th hour
The 11th hour of the 11th day, of the 11th month, of 1918 was when the First World War ended.
This day became known as Armistice Day. Later, after the end of World War II a veteran by the name of Raymond Weeks organized a day to honor all veterans with parades and festivities.
In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed Nov. 11 as the national holiday of Veteran’s Day.
Thoughts of Veteran’s Day observances bring to mind images of the aging faces of those who served in WWII Korea, and Vietnam, and very few others.
These images bring to mind a question, where are the younger veterans?
Those who have served in the recent past in places like Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, and elsewhere; why aren’t they in attendance at the celebrations for Veterans’ Day?
There are veterans in attendance at local colleges, universities, and trade schools. There are veterans at work in various jobs throughout the country.
Many have returned to comfortable lives of health and prosperity, and they are happy to blend humbly and quietly, into the fabric of their respective communities.
Others however, have not fared so well.
For these veterans the homeless, the disabled, those facing high unemployment, and underemployment, it may once again be the 11th hour.
“Over the years since its’ inception, Veterans Day has become more about having a three day weekend, and less about honoring those who have served,” lamented a young veteran attending a biology class here at SC4. “You want to know where the younger veterans are during those Veteran’s Day ceremonies? They’re working part-time at Wal-Mart and can’t take time off, or they’re at physical therapy trying to recover from injuries that they received while serving!”
Every day is the time for us to recognize veteran’s for their service. Every day, is when veterans should be honored.
They may not wish to come forward at ceremonies and services. They may not want to remember the things that they have seen and lived through in service to our country.
But it is our duty to ensure that medical care, training, and support services are there for our veterans, no matter the war in which they have served.