Nov. 11, 1918, at exactly 11 a.m., representatives of the forces fighting World War I signed the armistice which brought that deadly conflict to an end.
Up until 1954, when the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day, Armistice Day was observed as one of the top holidays in the United States. All schools, most cities and the nation had programs and observances of this important date.
Now, as Americans have grown to regard national holidays as another excuse for a three-day break from work, less thought is given to why the date is observed and more importance is given to having a vacation.
But it is important to observe these holidays. It is important to stop in our mad dash toward satisfying individual desires to pay homage to those who are now serving and those who have served in the past. Our brave men and women, all volunteers, put everything at risk so we can enjoy the blessings of liberty.
It is important that all of us who are benefiting from the deeds and commitment of these brave citizens to acknowledge our debts to them.
Just this past week, we enjoyed the opportunity to take part in a national election. In the United States, it is the ballots, not the bullets, which determine who our leaders will be.
Peoples from around the rest of the world would give a great deal if they could enjoy this freedom. This nation’s great Constitution guarantees we may hold beliefs contrary to those of our leaders and not only have these views, but be able to speak them.
Our Founding Fathers came to these shores not seeking cradle-to-grave security, but rather an opportunity to get ahead by one’s own blood, sweat and tears. Freedom, more than anything else, was the cornerstone upon which this republic was founded.
So today, this week and on Nov. 11, let us take a few minutes to honor our veterans, those military personnel who served in the past and those currently battling to preserve this nation’s way of life.
Let’s honor the living and also acknowledge the brave actions of those who gave their last full measure of devotion so those of us living in this great nation today — and those who will eventually be born and enjoy all that comes with being an American — are free.
As many of our politicians end up, “God Bless America!”
Chuck Warner, former owner/publisher of the Brownton Bulletin from 1953 to 1986, is a current member of the Brownton City Council.