By Keith Bellamy
President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed an Armistice Day for November 11, 1919. In proclaiming the holiday, he said:
"To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of 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."
President Dwight Eisenhower signed a bill into law on May 26, 1954 replacing "Armistice" with Veterans, and it has been known as Veterans Day ever since. So, on November 11th every year we honor those who served.
But what does it mean? It means we remember those who were willing to serve in some branch of our military service. My dad, Glen L. Bellamy, Jr., served in the United States Navy during World War II. My father -in-law, Melvin M. Neely served in the United States Army during World War II. His father, E.R. Neely served in World War I. They served.
So, let’s take time to thank those who served. Our freedom was obtained because someone was willing to shed blood…someone was willing to serve. Those of my generation never received that thank-you for their service in the Vietnam War. So, when I see a veteran from modern wars like the Persian Gulf, Iraq or Afghanistan I thank them for their service.
George Washington said, "The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the Veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation."
Remember that freedom requires the shedding of blood. And TRUE FREEDOM required the shedding of Jesus’ blood and He did it because He loved us. Let us not forget John 3:16. “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.”