Originally it was called Armistice Day, a day set aside to honor and remember the fallen in World War I. Armistice Day originated with President Woodrow Wilson. It was the day set aside to remember the formal ending of World War I, which happened on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Germans signed the Armistice.
“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.”
In remembrance of The War to End All Wars, an “unknown soldier” was buried at Westminster Abbey in England, and at the Arc de Triomphe in France. The United States followed with what we know today as the Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery. This tomb of unknown soldiers symbolizes the dignity and reverence our country holds for all American veterans. Every November 11th, at exactly 11 am, a color guard, made up of members from each of the military branches, performs a memorial ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns.
Today, November 11th, is Veterans Day and a federal holiday where we honor all those who have served our country in the military. And a day I want to thank and honor those in our family who have given their service so I can enjoy the freedoms I have today.
Courage is resistance to fear, mastery of fear – not absence of fear.
Pictured above left to right are:
Phillip Klippel, my great, great grandfather who served in the Army as a Corporal with the Missouri Cavalry from 1861 to 1862.
David Wescott, my grandfather who served in the Army in 1925 between World War I and II.
Vernon Almeling, my dad who served as a Marine Corps Corporal and was an Intelligence Officer from 1947 to 1948. He was also in the Air Force sometime in the mid 50s as a Second Lieutenant.
Emil Fischer, my other dad who served in the Air Force as a medic from 1952 to 1956.
Army Guy, my son-in-law who is currently serving as a Warrant Officer in the Army and training to become a pilot. His legacy is a work in progress.
Let every nation know, whether it wishes us well or ill, that we shall pay any price, bear any burden, meet any hardship, support any friend, oppose any foe to assure the survival and the success of liberty.
John F. Kennedy
Never give in – never, never, never, never, in nothing great or small, large or petty, never give in except to convictions of honor and good sense. Never yield to force; never yield to the apparently overwhelming might of the enemy.
And one last thought:
I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.
To all who have served…and their families…I wish you a blessed Veterans Day.