It is the VETERAN, not the preacher,
who has given us freedom of religion.
It is the VETERAN, not the reporter,
who has given us freedom of the press.
It is the VETERAN, not the poet,
who has given us freedom of speech.
It is the VETERAN, not the campus organizer,
who has given us freedom to assemble.
It is the VETERAN, not the lawyer,
who has given us the right to a fair trial.
It is the VETERAN, not the politician,
Who has given us the right to vote.
It is the VETERAN,
who salutes the Flag,
and serves under the Flag.
In 1921, an unknown World War I American soldier was buried in Arlington National Cemetery. Similar ceremonies occurred earlier in England and France, where an unknown soldier was buried in each nation's highest place of honor (in England, Westminster Abbey; in France, the Arc de Triomphe).
These memorial services all took place on November 11, the anniversary of the end of World War I at 11:00 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month), which became known as Armistice Day.
Armistice Day Becomes Veterans Day
Armistice Day officially became a holiday in the United States in 1926, and a national holiday 12 years later. On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.
In 1968, new legislation changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.
The Military Man
The average age of the military man is 19 years. He is a short haired, tight-muscled kid who, under normal circumstances is considered by society as half man, half boy. Not yet dry behind the ears, not old enough to buy a beer, but old enough to die for his country. He never really cared much for work and he would rather wax his own car than wash his father's; but he has never collected unemployment either.
He's a recent High School graduate; he was probably an average student, pursued some form of sport activities, drives a ten year old jalopy, and has a steady girlfriend that either broke up with him when he left, or swears to be waiting when he returns from half a world away. He listens to rock and roll or hip-hop or rap or jazz or swing and 155mm howitzer. He is 10 or 15 pounds lighter now than when he was at home because he is working or fighting from before dawn to well after dusk.
He has trouble spelling, thus letter writing is a pain for him, but he can field strip a rifle in 30 seconds and reassemble it in less time in the dark. He can recite to you the nomenclature of a machine gun or grenade launcher and use either one effectively if he must. He digs foxholes and latrines and can apply first aid like a professional. He can march until he is told to stop or stop until he is told to march.
He obeys orders instantly and without hesitation, but he is not without spirit or individual dignity. He is self-sufficient. He has two sets of fatigues: he washes one and wears the other. He keeps his canteens full and his feet dry. He sometimes forgets to brush his teeth, but never to clean his rifle. He can cook his own meals, mend his own clothes, and fix his own hurts. If you're thirsty, he'll share his water with you; if you are hungry, his food. He'll even split his ammunition with you in the midst of battle when you run low.
He has learned to use his hands like weapons and weapons like they were his hands. He can save your life - or take it, because that is his job. He will often do twice the work of a civilian, draw half the pay and still find ironic humor in it all. He has seen more suffering and death then he should have in his short lifetime.
He has stood atop mountains of dead bodies, and helped to create them. He has wept in public and in private, for friends who have fallen in combat and is unashamed. He feels every note of the National Anthem vibrate through his body while at rigid attention, while tempering the burning desire to 'square-away' those around him who haven't bothered to stand, remove their hat, or even stop talking. In an odd twist, day in and day out, far from home, he defends their right to be disrespectful.
Just as did his Father, Grandfather, and Great-grandfather, he is paying the price for our freedom. Beardless or not, he is not a boy. He is the American Fighting Man that has kept this country free for over 200 years.
He has asked nothing in return, except our friendship and understanding. Remember him, always, for he has earned our respect and admiration with his blood. And now we even have woman over there in danger, doing their part in this tradition of going to War when our nation calls us to do so. As you go to bed tonight, remember this shot.. A short lull, a little shade and a picture of loved ones in their helmets.
When you see this, please stop for a moment and say a prayer for our ground troops in Afghanistan, sailors on ships, and airmen in the air, and for those in Iraq, Bosnia, anywhere else in the world. This can be very powerful....... Of all the gifts you could give a US Soldier, Sailor, Coastguardsman, Marine or Airman, prayer is the very best one.
"Lord, hold our troops in your loving hands. Protect them as they protect us. Bless them and their families for the selfless acts they perform for us in our time of need. Amen."
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Thread: Thank a veteran - every day
11-11-2007, 07:15 AM #1
- Join Date
- Jan 2007
- Pacific Northwest
Thank a veteran - every dayYou only have to be stupid once to be dead permanently
IACOJ Power Company Liason
When trouble arises and things look bad, there is always one individual who perceives a solution
and is willing to take command. Very often, that individual is crazy. - Dave Barry.
11-11-2007, 07:27 AM #2
Very cool post.
I take my hat off to all the vetrans. I thank them all because they have served protecting my posterior.
Again, thank you very much.Jason Knecht
Altoona Fire Dept.
IACOJ - Director of Cheese and Whine
EAT CHEESE OR DIE!!
11-11-2007, 02:20 PM #3
A tip of the leather to all of our veterans, to whom we owe a debt of gratitude that can never be repaid!"The education of a firefighter and the continued education of a firefighter is what makes "real" firefighters. Continuous skill development is the core of progressive firefighting. We learn by doing and doing it again and again, both on the training ground and the fireground."
Lt. Ray McCormack, FDNY
11-13-2007, 09:03 AM #4
- Join Date
- Mar 2002
- Loco madidus effercio in rutilus effercio.
I dont know if this made a post anywhere else in here, but CJMinick sent it to me via email yesterday. The article comes from his home town paper, and I agree with him that it very eloquently sums up what Veterans/Rememberance Day is all about.
Each one deserves to be remembered
Jim Goldsworthy, Columnist Cumberland Times-News
I often hear voices ... not so much spoken words that I hear with my ears, but a feeling of what I must do — or not do — or something I need to know.
Here are a few of those whose voices I hear clearly. I’ll tell you later what they say.
Thomas M. Goldsworthy, Company C, 12th Wisconsin Volunteer Infantry Regiment, U.S. Army. Wounded In action, July 20, 1864, at the battle of Bald Hill prior to the siege of Atlanta. In less than 15 minutes, the 12th Wisconsin lost 134 men killed or wounded from its complement of 600.
World War I
Elmer Colin Goldsworthy, Stockton, Calif. Twice wounded in action, first as a member of the Royal Canadian Army’s Princess Pat Regiment and later as a fighter pilot in the British Royal Flying Corps.
Eugene V. Debs Goldsworthy, Chillicothe, Mo. U.S. Army. Killed in action Oct. 29, 1918, at Aricourt, France.
Henry Goldsworthy, Field Broughton Parish, Cumbria, England. King’s Own Royal Lancaster Regiment, Royal Army. Killed in action.
James Goldsworthy, Field Broughton Parish, Cumbria, England. Coldstream Guards, Royal Army. Killed in action.
World War II
Sgt. Ernest Frederick Goldsworthy, Walton-On-Thames, Surrey, England. Royal Army Service Corps. Died July 31, 1944, while a prisoner of war of the Japanese Army when his prison ship was sunk by American carrier aircraft 80 miles north of Corregidor. Hofuku Maru was one of the so-called “Hell Ships.”
Kenneth Goldsworthy, Redruth, Cornwall, England. Royal Air Force. Killed in action March 20, 1942. Redruth was my great-great grandfather Paul Goldsworthy’s hometown.
T/Sgt. Abram T. “Abe” Goldsworthy, Keyser, W.Va. U.S. Army Medical Corps. Wounded in action in 1945 when his hospital train came under attack near Verdun, France. His memory of coming home to America was that of lying on a stretcher on the docks at New York City with thousands of other stretcher cases.
T/Sgt. Beverly A. Hayes, Frostburg, Md. Radio operator/gunner, U.S. Army Air Corps. Killed in action Aug. 24, 1944, when his B-17 bomber was shot down during a mission over Germany. His mother died Aug. 24, 1980.
Pvt. Russell George Goldsworthy, Pakenham, Victoria, Australia. Royal Australian Infantry. Killed in action Feb. 4, 1942, on Rabaul.
Pvt. Trevor William Goldsworthy, Royal Australian Army Medical Corps. Died May 20, 1945, while a prisoner of war of the Japanese Army in the Sandakan camp on Borneo.
Lt. Cdr. Leon Verdi Goldsworthy, Broken Hill, New South Wales, Australia. Underwater mine disposal expert, Royal Australian Naval Volunteer Reserve. Twice Wounded in action, he was Australia’s most-decorated naval officer of World War II (George Cross, George Medal).
Maj. Gen. Robert F. Goldsworthy (ret.), Rosalia, Wash. Pilot, U.S. Army Air Corps. Held as a prisoner of war in Japan for nine months, was twice sent out for execution but for unknown reasons was spared. He kept as a souvenir an order specifying how prisoners should be executed in the event the Japanese homeland was invaded and insists the atomic bombs saved his life. He and his wife later had dinner with the widow of the Japanese fighter pilot who shot down his B-29 bomber. The restaurant was located on the former site of the POW camp where he had been held.
SSgt. Jonah Edward Kelley, Keyser, W.Va. Company E, 78th Infantry “Lightning” Division, U.S. Army. Killed in action Jan. 31, 1945, at Kesternich, Germany.
Pfc. James Goldsworthy, Rock County, Wis. 5th Cavalry Regiment, 1st Cavalry Division, U.S. Army. Wounded in action Oct. 6, 1951. Returned to duty Oct. 18 and was killed in action the same day.
RD3-E4 Craig W. Haines, Keyser, W.Va. Swift Boat crewman, U.S. Navy. Date of casualty, Feb. 17, 1970.
W/O James G. Bosley, New Creek, W.Va. Helicopter pilot, U.S. Army. Date of casualty Sept. 2, 1967.
SSgt. Calvin Coolidge “Grady” Cooke, Capitol Heights, Md. Loadmaster, U.S. Air Force. Killed in action April 26, 1972, when his cargo plane was shot down while attempting to resupply besieged South Vietnamese troops at An Loc. Remains repatriated and interred in Arlington National Cemetery June 20, 2006.
Kelley is a Medal of Honor recipient from Keyser, and Bosley and Haines were my friends at Keyser High School. I attended Cooke’s interment at Arlington with members of Chapter 172, Vietnam Veterans of America, and have worn a POW/MIA medallion or patch every day since then.
Abe Goldsworthy was my uncle, Beverly Hayes was my second cousin, and all the others were my in some way my relatives. Regardless of where the Goldsworthys may live, all have roots in the Cornwall region of England, and we share a common bloodline.
All but one of the above are now deceased, and each helped preserve life as we know it in what we call The Free World.
Theirs are some — but not all — of the voices I hear. But what do they say to me? For a long time, I had only an idea. Then I watched the movie, “Saving Private Ryan,” and I knew what it was.
Men who survived World War II have told me “Private Ryan” and “Band of Brothers” are the most realistic depictions of that horror they’ve ever seen.
After his three brothers were killed, Ryan became his family’s sole surviving son, and Capt. Miller (Tom Hanks’ character) was sent with seven other men to pull him out of combat. Five of the seven are killed, and after a brutal firefight with the Germans in which nothing is left to the imagination, Miller himself lies dying.
He calls Ryan to his side and says softly, “Earn this ... . Earn it.”
Ryan is an old man when he returns to Normandy with his children and grandchildren and stands before Miller’s grave.
“I have tried to live a good life,” he says. “I have tried my best to earn it.”
As a middle-aged American man, I often reflect upon how blessed I have been — blessed with freedom and in many other ways.
“Earn this,” is what my uncle and my cousin and the others whisper to me. “Earn it.”
When someday I am called to stand before them, I will tell them I tried my best to earn what they bought for me. Each deserves to be remembered, and so do many others.
It’s estimated that more than 3.25 million Americans have died in the service to our country, and countless more lost their physical and mental well-being.
This is Veterans’ Day. When you meet our veterans and our troops who are on active service — whether it’s today or any other day makes no difference — thank them for helping to preserve our freedom. Tell them, Welcome Home.
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