Two weekends ago at mass, Fr. Dennis read a poem during his sermon, “The Dash” by Linda Ellis. Fr. Dennis is a tremendous speaker. I have always loved his sermons but this one in particular was special. It got my heart beating faster and me more focused on his words. This poem meant so much that first day I heard it. I couldn’t wait to find it online. Later that day, I was at home with my family eating yet another delicious supper prepared by my mom. After we had finished, I pulled it up on my phone and read it aloud at the table. The funny thing about this poem is that it will mean even more as you read it aloud to yourself. Listening to it will bring up a certain feeling, but then speaking each stanza aloud will conjure up so much more.
It’s been nine days since I first heard this poem. But today more than ever, it means so much more. Today is Veterans Day. Veterans, and their families, of all people know what this dash means and stands for. These people spent a number of their days, days they can’t get back, fighting for the freedoms of this great country. I sincerely thank all of these men and women, past and present, for the sacrifices they are willing to make for me, my family and friends. Comparing this country to other countries, is like comparing apples to oranges for many reasons, but most of all because of the men and women who serve their country. Yeah America has its problems. Sometimes that’s all we focus on. But as many things I as I count wrong or troubling in the USA, there are multiple times as many things that are good and great.
Facts about Veteran’s Day
- On November 11, 1918, at 11 AM, an armistice, a temporary cessation of hostilities, between Allied forces and Germany went into effect.
- Therefore President Woodrow Wilson, originally deemed November 11th as Armistice Day.
- In 1938, Armistice Day became a federal holiday.
- In 1954, Armistice Day was changed to be called Veterans Day to also acknowledge those who fought in both World War II and the Korean War.
- In 1968, the federal government tried to change the date of Veterans Day to be the fourth Monday in October. However, this did not catch on and many states refused to recognize this date.
- In 1975, President Gerald Ford returned the holiday to November 11th, to preserve the historical significance of the date and to put the importance back on the purpose of Veterans Day.
Facts found on the US Dept. of Veteran Affairs website.
So with that, I wish everyone a Happy Veterans Day!