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A Veterans' Day Remembrance

November 5, 2007

Contributed by a Concerned American

Sunday, November 11th, is Veterans Day. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of November, the parade will stop as the bugler plays 'taps' to those who did not come home. Let's never forget our Veterans.

The movie 'The Flags of our Fathers,' depicting the famous Battle of Iwo Jima, touched me because my Uncle Lewis was there. He proudly served with the 1st Marine Division. My late uncle was named after his Great Grandfather Lewis Milton Griffith who served in the 39th Mississippi Regiment, Company B, during the War Between the States.

What does Veterans' Day mean to you? To me it is a day to remember men like Patrick Henry who said: "It can not be emphasized too strongly or too often that this great nation was founded, not by religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

And George Washington who led his troops in prayer before they crossed the Delaware River on a cold-snowy night and surprised the British and Hessian Troops on December 26, 1776.

It is about Andrew Jackson and his ragtag army who defeated the British in 1815 at the Battle of New Orleans. And Wade Hampton of South Carolina who rode 750 miles in 10 days to Columbia, South Carolina, and then to Washington, D.C. to tell President Madison and the country of the great victory.

Veterans Day should also be about March, 1836, when a small group of men at the Alamo stood between Santa Anna's 5,000 man army and the unprepared small army of Sam Houston. In the lonely monastery of the Alamo were Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and less than two hundred men under the command of Colonel William Travis.

On their last night on earth the men of the Alamo prayed that their efforts would, somehow, lead to victory even though they would not see it. A short time later at San Jacinto, Houston defeated Santa Anna with the battle cry of 'Remember the Alamo!'

We should not forget the brave men of the Confederacy and Union who fought four long-bloody years during what the Congress of the United States would officially recognize as the 'War Between the States.' President Eisenhower signed a proclamation for the Civil War Centennial 1961-65 and asked that many events be planned to remember the men of the Blue and Gray.

We should always remember that in February 1898, the American Battleship Maine blew up in Havana Harbor with nearly 300 dead. The Spanish-American War brought Teddy Roosevelt's Roughriders to Cuba to charge up San Juan Hill to victory.

In Greensboro, North Carolina, a 6 year-old girl named Mary Frances awoke to shouts of a boy far down the street. It was 5:00 a.m. on November 12, 1918. The paper boy was shouting "The war is over, the war is over!" World War I had finally come to an end on the 11th day of the 11th hour of the 11th month of November 1918. The Congress of the United States proclaimed 'Armistice Day' a year later on November 11, 1919.

On Sunday, December 7, 1941, the first word of the attack on Pearl Harbor came over the radio. Newspapers also ran 'extras' that Sunday with little information and a lot of fear. That Sunday would become a 'day of infamy.' On Monday, December 8th, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during a special session of Congress, spoke on the attack. FDR's closing remarks were: "With the unbounded determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God!"

Since that time there was Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Storm, Iraq and Afghanistan. We also can not forget that we were again attacked on September 11, 2001.

Since World War II, we have seen prayer taken out of our schools and 'Under God' is under attack in the pledge of allegiance. Is America still a nation under God?

Armistice Day became Veterans' Day in 1954. Let's all remember men like: Ira Hayes, Mike Strank, Franklin Sousley, Rene Gaynon, John Bradley and

Harlon Block who placed the United States flag on top of Mount Suribachi during the Battle of Iwo Jima. My uncle was there with these brave men. To forget our Veterans is to dishonor them!

Thanks to Calvin E. Johnson, Jr. of Kennesaw, GA, for contributing the above.

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