Veterans deserve this day
On this Veterans Day, the perception that the world never will be able to live in total peace and harmony remains ingrained.
Among Americans, there’s virtually universal acceptance of the theory that, as long as the United States exists, there will be tyrants and other foreign entities that will harbor evil designs against it.
People in places around the world are envious of the good and stability upon which this nation is built and continues to thrive. Many would like nothing more than to see America undermined forever.
It is not a new phenomenon.
People and nations have hated America throughout its existence, despite the massive sums of aid and other help that this country has given — and continues to give.
The beneficiaries of that help have been needy nations and peoples, even some not so needy.
Hatred of America exists despite the many times it has come to the aid of nations threatened by war, famine, natural disasters and myriad other terrible circumstances.
On the home front at this time, certainly not in the spirit of Veterans Day, America is polarized severely on its political front.
Many citizens are fearful about how long the current domestic divisiveness might continue.
The concern is justified.
But neither domestic political divisiveness nor challenges from abroad will destroy what today’s national observance of Veterans Day means to this nation and its people. Patriotic parades in communities here and around the country, as well as many other holiday-related events and activities, will cement that reality once again.
That will be true, whether or not individuals actually pause to reflect on the holiday’s origin as Armistice Day and its evolution to what it is today — a holiday recognizing all who have served in the military services honorably, whether or not they made the ultimate sacrifice on a battlefield.
May’s Memorial Day observance remembers military personnel who died while serving this country.
On Nov. 11, 1919, during America’s first Armistice Day observance, President Woodrow Wilson expressed his feelings about what the day meant to Americans.
He said the end of World War I “gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations.”
Unfortunately, as anyone who has studied history knows, the peace and reconstruction following World War I were short-lived.
Because of subsequent wars and seemingly endless lesser conflicts, America and the rest of the world never have had the opportunity to experience a truly peaceful world.
And that has kept firmly entrenched the need to maintain strong military services, manned by many of the nation’s most dedicated and talented men and women.
The Mirror’s Holiday Salute supplement published in November 2017 contained a page titled “Remembering our veterans,” which suggested ways to commemorate the bravery and selfless deeds of military personnel — those who have served honorably in the past as well as those still serving.
Included among the numerous suggestions were to attend a military parade along with family members, explain to children the significance of the day, visit a military memorial, volunteer time at a veterans hospital, get involved with a military support charity and express thanks to veterans for their service.
None of those suggestions ever will become obsolete even if, by some miracle, true peace and harmony do someday come to pass.