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Veteranís Day
Perspective on the News
Thursday, November 19, 2015
J.L. Robb

I missed writing last week but planned to write about Veteran’s Day and my wonderful experience at Perimeter Church. Unfortunately I got a really bad code (I write like that when my nose is stopped up).

After much consideration, because now I am salivating to talk about the Great ISIS Plague, I decided I would write about Veterans Day and save the Junior Varsity until next week.

armistice: a temporary suspension of hostilities by agreement of the warring parties; truce: World War I ended with the armistice of 1918.

November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed that ended World War I; and the annual celebration to honor the veterans of war every November 11 became known as Armistice Day. It was signed on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.   

World War I became known as the war to end all wars, only it did not. Though the hostilities stopped November 11, 1918, the official ending to the war was signed June 28, 1919, at the Palace of Versailles in France. The Treaty of Versailles made it formal.

World War I was a horrible war as all wars are. The first day of trench warfare, 60,000 British troops were killed.

Jehovah’s Witnesses do not go to war, and one reason is, they do not want to kill other Christians. World War I British and German troops were mostly Christian and a strange thing happened Christmas Eve 1914.

As 100,000 British and German troops faced off in trenches, across the divide between them the German soldiers set up Christmas trees and candles.  The British troops watched, mostly out of curiosity. Then German soldiers laid down their weapons and started singing to the British troops, Stille Nacht:

Silent night, Holy night
All is calm, all is bright
Round yon virgin, mother and child
Holy infant, tender and mild
Sleep in heavenly peace,

Sleep in heavenly peace.
Silent night, Holy night
Son of God, love's pure light
Radiant beams from thy holy face
With the dawn of redeeming grace,
Jesus, Lord at thy birth
Jesus, Lord at thy birth.

Silent night, Holy night
Shepherds quake, at the sight
Glories stream from heaven above
Heavenly, hosts sing Hallelujah.
Christ the Savior is born,
Christ the Savior is born.

The British troops, thinking at first it was a trick, finally emerged from their trenches and for the rest of the night and all of Christmas Day, German and British troops mingled, ate, drank and played football… then they went back to war, Christians killing Christians.

In November 1919, November 11 was chosen as the commemoration of Armistice Day.

"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…" ~President Woodrow Wilson, November 1919

For this special holiday, businesses closed at 11:00 AM and there were parades, meetings and lots of celebration.

The end of The Great War still brought tragedy to the young soldiers getting home. The Spanish Flu was ravaging the world, on its way to a death toll of forty million. More World War I soldiers died from the Spanish Flu than died in the war.

If one ever wants to start an epidemic, just infect the troops.

May 13, 1938, Armistice Day became a legal holiday. Originally this day was established to honor World War I veterans; but after World War II, even a greater war than the war to end all wars, and the Korean War, Congress changed the Act of 1938, striking Armistice and substituting Veterans.

June 28, 1968, The Uniform Holiday Bill was signed and for the first time Veterans Day was celebrated on October 25, 1971, causing much confusion and dismay.  As a result, President Gerald Ford changed it back to November 11.

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.” ~Jesus

This is what Veterans do, lay down their lives so others can live.

In 1968 when I joined the Navy, Vietnam was going strong. Folk (men) in my age group were being drafted, and college kids did all they could do to stay in school. Many in my age group, when push came to shove, decided instead of being future veterans, they would be future traitors and headed north to Canada.

In the world of WWI and WWII, they would have been treated as the traitors they were. In the world of President Jimmy Carter, they were welcomed back from Canada where they ran, with open arms. Many of our veterans no longer had arms.

It was refreshing attending the Veterans Day service at Perimeter Church; and if you are ever in the John’s Creek, Georgia area, I recommend stopping by for a service. Beautiful church; loving people.

Walking into the church, the very long sidewalk was lined with children singing stuff like God Bless America. They each waved small flags, handed out Thank You letters and a local Chick fil A offered chicken sandwiches for all.

The Christmas Truce of 1914 started with a song about the birth of Jesus. There were no separation of church-state issues for the Brits and the Germans. Much of Europe at that time actually still believed in God, and it is sad that so many have drifted so far away. We do not seem to recognize that that is what’s causing this, and we in America have done the same:

And the beat goes on. And on and on.

Thank God for veterans who are willing to risk life, limb and families for the sake of our well-being and for the freedom to worship without being beheaded, burned alive or crucified. Maybe the world will wake up, come to its senses and repent.

Do you think?

About J.L. Robb

Last article: Ding, Dong The Witness Is Dead

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