Please don't overlook Veterans Day

Wednesday, November 5, 2014

Halloween, one of the busiest and spendiest holidays on the calendar, is just past.

And, Thanksgiving is right around the corner.

November is often a busy month, and given all that activity it might be easy to overlook Tuesday's observance of Veterans Day.

That would be a mistake, however.

For most Americans, the origins of the holiday have grown obscure over time. Veterans Day was once called Armistice Day, and set for Nov. 11 because that was the day in 1918 when Germany signed an armistice agreement ending World War I, once called "the war to end all wars," by President Woodrow Wilson.

The day was set aside to celebrate peace after years of horrific war. In the 1950s, the holiday's name was changed to Veterans Day, and it became a time to honor the sacrifices of all past and present military veterans.

Veterans Day was never intended as a day for rousing calls to war and patriotic fervor. It was, rather, meant to be a solemn occasion -- a time to lay down flowers in remembrance of blood spilt. Perhaps that sad, gentle spirit is a reason why the holiday sometimes catches us unaware.

This year, however, the sacrifice of our courageous and dedicated soldiers should be on the minds of all.

The great sacrifices and tragically, the ultimate price, so many brave young men and women and their families have paid for this country and its freedoms should never be taken for granted or forgotten.

This Veterans Day, take time to visit a memorial event or just talk with a veteran. Thank them for their service to our country.

Give a thought to the responsibility of peace. And place all of this amid the context of the politics and issues of the day.

In a world that moves so fast and can be so transitory, the sacrifice of veterans should abide. It's that sacrifice that we honor today -- and must remember always.