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Thursday, May 23, 2024

Transitions – Remember them all

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In 1968, Congress made the fourth Monday of October Veterans Day, the idea being to stimulate the economy by giving Americans a chance to travel and shop. Really.

In 1978 President Gerald Ford signed another law that moved it back to November 11 to coincide with the celebration of the end of World War I, known as Armistice Day.

People often don’t know the difference between “Veteran’s Day” and “Veterans Day.” The difference is simple. It is not for one veteran, but for ALL who have served their country during war and peace, in unpopular wars, drafted and as volunteers.

During Vietnam, my brother and all but one of my male cousins served – all volunteers. My husband, Roger, served in the Navy, although he was drafted – he was a Cold War Warrior on a submarine. He ended up serving an additional 26 years as a reservist.

Among Roger’s family almost all his uncles served during WWII. His father lost a leg in Germany, and a cousin (Airborne) fought all the way from Normandy to Germany. He woke up from battle fatigue (now PTS) in an army hospital bed covered by a blanket with the German Iron Cross.  He assumed he had been captured, but it was the blanket that was captured and put to use in an American field hospital.

I have often written about the men and women who served and protected us. It means a lot to me to know that generations of my family have served. It is a shame that humans wage war. Although many veterans suffer from their physical, mental, or moral wounds for life, for others military duty is in some ways an opportunity. Veterans usually have a heightened sense of civic duty, they understand mission focus, and they really appreciate peacetime.

During this Veterans Day, please remember them with a moment of silence.  Not just the ones that are gone, but the ones that still are our neighbors, friends and relatives, and the ones standing duty now.

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Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist
Barbara Blomquist is a Naperville resident, wife, mother, quilter, and screenwriter. Contact her at BWBLomquist@aol.com.

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