Veterans Day Moment
This morning’s reflection at assembly.
It’s Veterans Day.
I am a veteran and proud to have served my country.
On this day, I think about my fellow veterans and I think about young people. I think about you.
First, some history then I’ll come back to you.
Veterans Day is on November 11th every year.
The modern significance of this day derives from the fact that it was the last day of hostilities of World War I, when an armistice went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. November 11th, 1918. This was supposed to be “the war to end all wars.” It wasn’t.
November 11th became Armistice Day in 1929. The Congressional resolution noted that November 11th marked the cessation of “the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals” and that “it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer….designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding among nations.”
In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower proclaimed that, given the millions of new veterans from World War II and the Korean Conflict, November 11 should be renamed Veterans Day. President Eisenhower’s proclamation read that we should “solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain.”
We have yet to achieve that enduring peace.
That’s the history, now the thought.
On Veterans Day and every day, let us honor and thank those who commit and sacrifice to protect this nation until that time of peace comes. Many of these soldiers, sailors, airman and guardsman are near your age yet have taken this oath. Recent graduates of this school have taken on this commitment. Think of them.
And let us hope for the wisdom, fortitude, and strength of heart to create that enduring peace that eludes us. This is the highest purpose of our learning about the world. This challenge is not beyond you and needs your attention.
All of this is in the hands of your generation. We are with you, but it is young people who make the sacrifices and young people who may see a new way forward.
We are with you. We believe in you.