I’m popping in today for a brief Veterans Day reflection. Our veterans, living and dead, are all heroes to me, and thinking about heroes led me to think about revisionist history.
It has become popular to uncover —sometimes gleefully or even maliciously—the flaws, errors, and sins of our forefathers and mothers and a multitude of other heroes and leaders we’ve always revered. Sometimes, this perspective is important, but I hope we won’t let it wipe out the significance of their positive accomplishments.
The men and women we admire from the past or in the present are (or were) only human, albeit often great ones with gifts that have been right for their time. We don’t have to remove them from our list of people we admire or appreciate just because they have/had flaws.
History of Veterans Day
It began Armistice Day in 1919, marking the date when Germany and the allies signed a 1918 agreement to cease World War I hostilities. The Department of Veterans Affairs tells us that fighting ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
When President Woodrow Wilson’s made Nov. 11 the first commemoration of Armistice Day, he proclaimed: “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.”
Congress made Nov. 11 a legal holiday in 1938, and in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower signed a law that changed the name to Veterans Day.
Happy Veterans Day
And to all you veterans, thank you for your service!
What veteran(s) in your life can you call or write today to let them know you appreciate them?