For almost 100 years it has been the practice of patriotic citizens of the United States to pause on the 11th day of November (originally) to honor the armistice which ended World War I. That ceremony was held in a railroad passenger car “on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month.” Not having been born yet, for at least ten years, it is not in my memory, except from being told in school and at home.
In later years, the exact date not surfacing in my memory, the title was changed to be observed as Veterans Day. It was to recognize sacrifices and services rendered by millions of men and women in defense of that wonderful representative republic – not democracy – known as the United States of America. The words “not democracy” are stressed because it is clear from the wording of the Constitution and the Federalist Papers (a series of communications from the Founders). They have been assembled into a book, to explain to the citizens of the new nation the intent and wording of those documents more fully so as to induce them to approve the ratification of the Constitution. The term “patriotic citizens of the USA” was used intentionally to indicate that there are those who speak, act and so must think in opposition to the further success of said United States of America.
Or, in some cases and some groups, the intent is to radically change the make-up and nature of the government to worsen the condition of the population. Those are the groups that we see almost daily showing up to protest or actually to riot and destroy things and kill people with whom they disagree. We must remember that they are actually a small minority of our population, but are loud, intrusive, and most assuredly have the backing and support of the major media. Thus it seems to appear that they are a much larger and more effective force than reality would allow.
Such was the case when the veterans returning from the Vietnam War were so rudely – and sometimes violently – protested. Reports were that they were often told at their last military base to not wear their uniforms when traveling by civilian transport, bus, airplane or train. Also, they were told that many times airline passengers would refuse to change seats for military or wait on the plane until a casket was removed from the cargo section and loudly boo anyone in uniform (mostly West Coast).
Thankfully, it seems that those days have ended and much more respect is surfacing almost everywhere, except of course in those areas self declared to be “sanctuary cities, counties or states.” In those cases, it would appear that the full intent is to violate the of law and decency as much as is possible. It is hoped that the PRESDT administration will increase strict enforcement of the Constitution and laws. On the other hand, it seems to me that there is an increasing amount of respect, admiration and gratitude being shown to anyone appearing to be a veteran.
In my own case, not having experienced combat, there have been numerous instances of such actions extended to me. There are too many to go into a complete rundown, but often enough to have aroused my attention for sure. The Veterans Day Parade in Tulsa is one of the largest and longest running in the nation and (from the last six or eight years in my experience in being a participant) seems to be increasing in length and sidewalk attendance each year, despite sometimes cold and windy weather.
Since joining the World War II Vets of Tulsa in July 2007, a great amount of additional information has been imparted to me by associating with the others, many of whom have experienced as much as three years of continuous combat experience. Also instances of seemingly miraculous protection have surfaced in those years. In particular, in February of 2015, we were joined by a couple who are both ordained clergy and who have adopted us as our “chaplains”- greatly to our benefit. One of the things that has particularly impressed me is theinformation that, from the Bible, Psalm 91 has for centuries been known as “The Soldiers Psalm.”
It appears to have be written by Israel’s King David, while in a combat situation. Further, there have come to my attention numerous instances of individuals and units invoking this with fabulous protection from death or injury. One includes the World War II Dunkirk evacuation of British and French troops who were surrounded and being strafed without being struck by even shrapnel. I am impressed.