• 64°

A reminder of debt we will forever owe

By Howard Coop

For 98 years, Nov. 11 has been recognized as a very special day.

For each of us, it should be much more than another holiday that gives us a day of leisure. It should be a day to remember with genuine gratitude those who answered the call of duty to serve our country when their service was needed.

On the morning of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” in 1918, World War I ended, and, history records, there was rejoicing throughout the land. To commemorate that special event, President Woodrow Wilson, on Nov. 11, 1919, issued an order designating the day as Armistice Day.

Further significance was given Nov. 11 when, in 1938, Armistice Day was made a National Holiday.

Then, it was given greater significance on May 26, 1954, when President Dwight Eisenhower, a man who had served heroically in the European theatre during World War II, signed a congressional resolution that changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day, a day set aside to recognize all of those — men and women — who have served in the armed forces of our country to defend our land from aggressors and preserve the freedom we who live in this land cherish so dearly.

After responding to the call of duty and serving their country, they have returned home and bear scars, visible upon their bodies and invisible upon their minds, of hardship they endured.

Yet, most of them seldom, if ever, mention that hardship. With that behind them, they have assumed a normal life and live among us as our neighbors and our friends; therefore we see them every day and interact with them with little thought for their service and the debt we owe them.

On Veterans Day, Old Glory will waft in the fall breeze along the streets of our community as a reminder of a debt we owe to those brave men and women who answered the call of duty to keep our nation safe and help it remain “the land of the free and the home of the brave.”

Howard Coop is a retired minister, author and religion columnist that contributes regularly to The Jessamine Journal. He can be reached at howardcooop@ kudu4u.com.