The White House,
November 11, 1919
“A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and more just set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half.”
With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought.
Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men.
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 nations.”
Veteran’s Day is a day of remembrance as well as honoring those who have come before us as much as those who have or are serving for us. It is a day of recognition and respect, a day of silent reverence and respect as much as duty and upholding the nation in regalia and uniting us all in what it means to sacrifice as one people. It was first formed in the aftermath of World War I, by President Woodrow Wilson on Nov. 11, 1919. Since then and through the exchange of many presidential hands and congressional actions has evolved into a
National Holiday and symbol of what it is today. The countless lives laid bare and put before our Country, for our country, by our men and women cannot begin to express our grief nor our gratitude. Our thanks cannot be measured in words or actions alone. One day cannot make up for the decades of service these heroes to our Country have provided, bled for, and laid their lives to rest at our Nation’s soils, nor forgotten at our enemy’s lands. The POW’s left behind, the Soldiers of Fortune, the many branches of Militia that band together to form our Nation’s Armed Forces are wrought with the bravest and brightest among our great peoples who answer a calling higher than any one person’s alone. And the families left behind still mourn them, never to forget their service nor their valor that shines on, like a beacon of hope and glory for those to come after them.
We, as a people, for the people as it states in our Constitution, hold a duty of service to those who have served and paid their dues. This is their day, and one we now celebrate, in kind. Niobrara Elementary/Middle School has seen fit to recognize this and has held a wonderful event in their honor, students inviting many of our local veterans to attend. In this grand display of respect from a generation to come, to those generations who have served before us, they come together and presented to these fine veterans a Veteran’s Day lunch and memorial presentation, one with grade school choirs, Presenting of the Colors, National Anthem reading, and singing and even gifted us all with the veterans joining us all on stage to share their stories and a final moment of silence. Three of the event coordinators were honored in return by the veterans with an award, Brittany Bruegga, Sundra Johnson and Adele Cass.
As the event wound down, all of the children from many ages and grades lined up to honor these fine veterans with thank you cards and art they all made, as gratitude for their service and to meet the veterans in person. Inspired by these people and their acts of valor, each got to shake their hand and speak to them and were passed words of wisdom and hopefully inspiration for the next wave of those to come. It was a very moving sight, as was the benefit’s lunch where children joined the veterans in a shared meal together, the talking blending into the sounds of mealtime laughter and familiar families coming together at a table as one.
We’d like to thank the veterans who were attending, and who so graciously served our country. The following are those who attended and in what branch.
Jack Garner-Air Force
C.J. Hewitt-Air Force
John Knox-Air Force
Judy Knox-Army Corp. Nurse
Richard Ladwig-Air Force
Jim Lyons-National Guard
Harold Miller-Air Force
Dale Travnecek-Air Force