This Sunday (November 11) is Veterans Day! Veterans Day is a time to honor the survivors, and to be grateful for their service and sacrifice to defend what we as Americans believe.
This holiday (originally known as Armistice Day) was established to remember the 1918 signing of the Armistice Treaty and to honor the heroes of World War I. [1]  In 1921, Congress resolved to build a tomb to honor the men who died overseas. Sergeant Edward Younger was given the task of choosing one of four unknown American soldiers to bring home for burial. [2] When the Navy ship Olympia arrived in Washington on November 9th with the body of the fallen soldier, America responded. The Cavalry band played “Onward Christian Soldiers” as the casket was taken to the U.S. Capitol, where the soldier was laid in State. President Warren G. Harding, governmental officials, and thousands of Americans paid their respects to this fallen soldier. [3]
On the morning of November 11th, this soldier was given a military procession to Arlington National Cemetery and buried at what is known today as the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. This tomb has been guarded around the clock by dedicated servicemen and women since 1948. [4] The honor for the sacrifice of this soldier was recently once again evident when the guards refused to leave their post during Hurricane Sandy, which was reminiscent the soldiers’ determination to guard the tomb during Hurricane Isabel in 2003. [5]

The honor paid to this soldier is the same respect that all of our veterans deserve. It was in 1954 that Veterans Day was officially renamed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower to honor American veterans of all wars. [6] These brave men and women who
are willing to sacrifice their lives for our freedom should be celebrated and venerated.

On this special day when we pause to reflect on the sacrifices made across the years by men and women willing to lay down their lives to protect and defend our Constitution, our freedoms, and our way of life, let’s be proactive in our gratitude.

  • Thank a veteran or active military member in uniform
  • Attend a Veterans Day parade
  • Pray for the military families
  • Remind those around you of the significance of this day.
  • Listen to Tuesday’s WallBuilders Live Program

 


[1] “Veterans Day,” The Library of Congress, October 26, 2010 (at: https://memory.loc.gov/ammem/today/nov11.html). See also, “The History of Veterans Day,” Center for Military History: United States Army, November 19, 2012 (at: https://www.history.army.mil/html/reference/holidays/vetsday/vetshist.html).
[2] J. R. McCarl, Decisions of the Comptroller General (Washington: Government Printing Office, 1923), Vol. 2, pp. 387-389. See also, “Tomb of the Unknowns,” Army: Old Guard (https://www.army.mil/info/organization/unitsandcommands/commandstructure/theoldguard/specplt/tomb.htm) (accessed on November 9, 2012); “The Tomb of the Unknowns,” Arlington National Cemetery (https://www.arlingtoncemetery.mil/VisitorInformation/TombofUnknowns.aspx) (accessed on November 9, 2012); “Edward F. Younger, Sergeant, United States Army,” Arlington National Cemetery, December 25, 2007 (https://www.arlingtoncemetery.net/eyounger.htm).
[3] Kirk L. Simpson, “The Unknown Soldier,” Supplement Service Bulletin of the Associated Press (New York: Associated Press, December 1921) pp. 3-4. See also, “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier,” The Quartermaster Review, September-October, 1963 (at: https://www.qmfound.com/tomb_of_the_unknown_soldier.htm); B. C. Mossman and M. W. Stark, The Last Salute: Civil and Military Funerals 1921 – 1969 (Washington, D.C.: Department of the Army, 1991) pp. 3-18 (at: https://www.history.army.mil/books/Last_Salute/Index.htm).
[4]   “Tomb of the Unknowns,” Army: Old Guard (https://www.army.mil/info/organization/unitsandcommands/commandstructure/theoldguard/specplt/tomb.htm) (accessed November 9, 2012). See also, “Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers Stand Guard During Hurricane Sandy,” MyFoxDC.Com, November 12, 2012 (at: https://www.myfoxdc.com/story/19943347/tomb-of-the-unknown-soldiers-stand-guard-during-hurricane-sandy).
[5] Katie Pavlich, “Tomb of the Unknown Soldier Remains Guarded Through Hurricane Sandy,” TownHall, October 29, 2012 (at: https://townhall.com/tipsheet/katiepavlich/2012/10/29/tomb_of_the_unknown_soldier_remains_guarded_through_hurricane_sandy). See also, Luis Martinez, “Still Vigilant at the Tomb of the Unknowns Despite Irene,” ABC News, August 28, 2011 (at: https://abcnews.go.com/US/hurricanes/vigilant-tomb-unknowns-irene/story?id=14397525#.UJ1zZYbCaSo).
[6] The Federal Register (Washington, D. C.: The National Archives, 1954), Vol. 19, No. 198, Dwight Eisenhower, “Proclamation 3071: Veterans Day 1954” (at: https://www.va.gov/opa/vetsday/docs/proclamation_1954.pdf).
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