November 11, 2012

OUR VIEW: A day to honor nation’s veterans

— Because of a quirk in the calendar, Americans get an extra day this year to honor our nation’s veterans.

In 1926, Congress passed a resolution recognizing Nov. 11 as Armistice Day. The idea was to commemorate the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the moment when fighting stopped in World War I, “the most destructive, sanguinary and far-reaching war in human annals.”

Everyone hoped the conflict would be “the war to end all wars,” and the resolution called on Americans to mark the anniversary “with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”

Too soon, though, the world found itself at war again, and in 1954, Congress passed a measure to change the name of the observance to Veterans Day, a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Because Nov. 11 falls on a Sunday this year, the official holiday has been moved to Monday, and as a result, communities across the country will gather Monday morning for a salute to veterans. This community will be no exception.

The Cass County Veterans Council’s annual parade will start with a ceremony at 10 a.m. Monday at the Cass County Government Building. Participants will then march to the Logansport City Building, where a program will follow the parade. After that, the crowd will move to the parking lot west of the Pharos-Tribune for a musical tribute to our nation’s veterans by the Lewis Cass Marching Kings.

This nation’s military has been at war for more than a decade in Iraq and Afghanistan, and the prolonged fighting has taken a toll.

Thankfully, our nation’s leaders say our troops will be headed home by the end of next year. They can get back to their homes and families.

The men and women in this nation’s military are volunteers. They put on the uniform out of a love for this country and its founding principles. They lay their lives on the line in defense of this nation’s freedoms. It’s because of their sacrifice that the rest of us are able to live the lives we live today.

We owe them our thanks. Turn out for Monday’s official program if you can, but whatever you do, take at least a few moments to express your gratitude to this nation’s veterans. And offer a prayer for peace.