By Kassondra Granata
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.”
On November 11, 1919 U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first Veterans Day and seven years later on June 4, 1986, the U.S. Congress issued a resolution that on this particular day, there would be appropriate ceremonies to honor those who fought to keep our country safe.
Veterans Day, also referred to Armistice Day, has been acclaimed since the end of World War I to honor those who lost their lives during the war. Ever since elementary school, I have attended different memorial ceremonies, parades, and other events such as salutes at military cemeteries to honor our soldiers.
On Sunday, different media feeds such as Facebook and Twitter were swarmed with different statuses commemorating veterans and current soldiers for their hard work and valor. After sifting through a dozen, I stumbled on a couple statements made from another journalist I met last year at a conference in Seattle.
He put: “Ummm why are we thanking Veteran’s today for their service? Shouldn’t we do that everyday? Come on peeps.”
Seeing this sprung a memory dated back to fourth grade. I was sitting in my classroom, and my teacher told the class that we would not have school because of Veterans Day. After she explained to one of my classmates what the significance of the holiday was, I rose my hand and asked why they aren’t remembered everyday, and only one specific day.
I proposed the argument, even at age eight, that soldiers don’t think of us only once a year. They think about us back at home and our safety every day. So it would only be fair to them if those back at home did the same.
According to the Reporter Times, while the east coast was still suffering from the aftermath of Hurricane Sandy, Air Force Reserve and Air National Guard posted themselves nearly 3,000 miles to assist their fellow Americans. The Navy sent large-deck ships off the shores of New York and New Jersey, where Marines, soldiers and Coast Guardsmen were busy rescuing storm victims, rebuilding ravaged areas and providing food and fuel.
This example, aside from the obstruction that they face on a day-to-day basis overseas, is one of the main reasons as to why we should be thankful for their services. These soldiers, young and old, put their lives on hold to do what they deem honorable for their country.
Three weeks ago, I spent the weekend in Newport with my close friends from high school. In front of a restaurant, there were two men outside, in uniform, waiting for their table to be called. These two men claimed simple “hello,” and a “thank you for serving us” from our group made their night 100 percent better than it was before. They were appreciative.
I am not saying that veterans and current soldiers are not appreciative that there is a national holiday set to pay homage to their service. What I am pressing is that take some time throughout your day to think about how privileged you are to be able to walk the streets safely, to have the divine right to voice your opinion. Remember their sacrifice everyday. They are warriors and lionhearted and care for this country more than their own lives. They do not fight because they hate what is in front of them, but they fight because they love what is behind them.