In 1918, around 11:00 AM, on the 11th day of November, an armistice was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in World War I. The following year, November 11th was celebrated by many countries as Armistice Day, and in 1938, became a federal holiday in the United States. Following the end of World War II and the Korean War, Armistice Day became known as Veterans Day.
Unlike Memorial Day, Veterans Day pays tribute to all American veterans—living or dead—but especially gives recognition and thanks to living veterans who served their country honorably during war or peacetime.
Saturday, November 11, was Veteran’s Day.
The significance of the day did not go unnoticed by me, nor the importance. Ordinarily, I would have watched one of my favorite movies, more than likely “We Were Soldiers,” and probably walked out onto my front porch and watched my American flag waving in the breeze. I should have, but I didn’t. Aside from the dismal state of affairs in the United States, and the ever-increasing threat of another world war, the apathy I’ve encountered among too many of its younger citizens, our future world leaders, is frightening and difficult to understand.
I remember back in the ‘50s, when the television stations would sign off for the broadcast day, (Yes, Elizabeth, there was a time when the television stations were not broadcasting 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year), ALL of them did so by showing a patriotic video and playing our National Anthem. I won’t belabor the in-class, hand-over-the-heart, pre-school activities in which we actually took pride in participating. It was just something we did, and I hope I speak for all the boomers, we loved it.
Many of us, did as our parents and grandparents and so on did, and we ourselves joined or were drafted into military service. Most boomers who are veterans, like me, served during the Vietnam conflict. Those fortunate enough to have survived serving “in country” and remained in service, more than likely participated in some way, in the following Gulf Wars and Middle East actions. Regardless, we are all veterans. We did what our country asked, and most of us would do it again. Yeah, I believe that!
So, back to Veteran’s Day, and why I did nothing to commemorate or celebrate. As I said, the significance of the holiday I did not forget, I WILL NEVER FORGET. I got up that morning, made my first cup of coffee, sat down in my office/studio/messiest room-in-the-house, and started working on songs. I was working on music all day. And somehow, what the day was got by me!
It was probably around 5:00 PM when I realized I had not written anything on social media, expressing my love and appreciation for the vets I knew, and those whom I’ve never had the honor and pleasure to meet. I realized I had not posted a picture of a vet or the flag or anything, anywhere! Realizing what I had missed doing, I immediately went outside on my front porch and stood there for a few minutes looking at my flag, remembering her importance and what each color on her stood for. My mind went back to those early school days, both feet together, standing as tall as I could, my hand flat on my chest, covering my heart, facing the American flag waving atop the pole in the schoolyard, or displayed inside the classroom, reciting the Pledge Of Allegiance. I remember the pride I felt in doing so. It made me feel a part of something much bigger than myself. It made me feel connected to every other person in the world. I couldn’t imagine anyone not loving that flag or this country, or what they both stood for, as much as I did. And still do.
My excuse for the lack of observance? I don’t have one. Suffice it to say, some of what I worked on yesterday, dealt with patriotism, but most was editing songs I haven’t been able to finish.
So, I missed posting yesterday. And being a vet, I feel a bit guilty. Okay, I feel a lot guilty. Be that as it may… to all of you veterans, I am honored to be among you, and you all have my deepest gratitude for your service.
THANK YOU FOR YOUR SERVICE.