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Monday, November 11, 2013

Veteran's Day: Marking a Point in History

The guns in The War to End All Wars went silent on November 11th, 1918. Even though the French signed the Treaty of Versailles on June 28th, 1919 the fighting ended seven months prior. At this time, much of Europe was in shambles and the war marked a fundamental shift into a new economy by destroying older state institutions. Europe was rebuilt away from the traditional monarchical models and into an international economic framework.

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President Wilson proclaimed the day a holiday in 1919 with the words, “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn 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…

The war was seen as resulting from 1.) the assignation of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, 2.) rise of nationalism, 3.) build up of power, 4.) colonial competition, 5.) alliances that drew in other countries, and 6.) a change of economic landscape. As these factors rose, there was also pressure to create republics that were more economically open than the feudal system. WWI helped to change the overall economic underpinnings of Europe into what it is seen today.
 
 WWII was even larger than WWI and many more lives were lost in the battle. Congress amended the act and replaced Armistice Day with Veteran’s Day in 1938. It is a day to celebrate those who fought to protect American liberties and who fought for a common good. Typically, one will find parades, events, memorials, and a short rest from business activities. Most employers celebrate the day off.

Britain, France, Australia, and many other countries that were involved in the war also celebrate a similar type day.  The purpose is to mark a point in history for future generations and try to set a cultural tone that reminds people of the many trials of a country. It is an effort to teach people about the great wars and how they have influenced the development of the country.


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It should be remember that even though Veteran's Day is about actual veterans it takes many different types of people with a wide variety of skills to make and develop a country. Some are warriors, some are teachers, some are business members, some writers, others are artists, and still others are peace makers. The goal of any nation should be to develop their people to the highest point possible and use their unique skills to keep the nation adjusting toward stronger political and social frameworks. Each person can contribute based upon their God given abilities and strengths. It is this collective effort that marks a nations point on a continuum of development.

Make sure you hire a veteran when opportunities are available.

August Abel



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