Today many people are home from work and kids home from school to honor Veterans Day. The First World War (which was called the war to end all wars) ended at 11 AM on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. After the war ended, Congress declared November 11th an annual holiday and called it Armistice Day. Canada observes the same holiday, calling it Remembrance Day. About 1953, after the Second World War, the name was changed to Veterans Day but the holiday was kept on the same date, except for a brief period from 1971-1977. We have been engaged in fighting for our freedom since then and men and women have lost their lives so we could have freedom.
Shortly after the Japanese surrender aboard the battleship Missouri, General MacArthur made the following historic broadcast to the American nation:
Today the guns are silent. A great tragedy has ended. A great victory has been won. The skies no longer rain death – the seas bear only commerce – men everywhere walk upright in the sunlight. The entire world is quietly at peace. The holy mission has been completed. And in reporting this to you, the people, I speak for the thousands of silent lips forever stilled among the jungles and the beaches and in the deep waters of the Pacific which marked the way. I speak for the unnamed brave millions homeward bound to take up the challenge of that future which they did so much to salvage from the brink of disaster.
As I look back on the long, tortuous trail from those grim days of Bataan and Corregidor, when an entire world lived in fear, when democracy was on the defensive everywhere, when modern civilization trembled in the balance, I thank a merciful God that He has given us the faith, the courage and the power from which to mold victory. We have known the bitterness of defeat and the exultation of triumph, and from both we have learned there can be no turning back. We must go forward to preserve in peace what we won in war.
We have to teach our children why we celebrate this holiday and that we should never forget the sacrifice that has been made and people continue to make for us everyday. Thank you to all the men and women who have served in the armed forces and continue to serve.
Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
the people he chose for his inheritance.
From heaven the Lord looks down
and sees all mankind;
from his dwelling place he watches
all who live on earth—
he who forms the hearts of all,
who considers everything they do.