‘Welcome Home’ this Veterans Day 2018

One hundred years ago peace-loving people throughout the world commemorated the “War to End All Wars” by institutionalizing a holiday that morphed into Veterans Day in America.

World War I, as historians have named it, did not end all of the wars and in 20 years the nations of the earth faced the worst world war mankind has ever known.

Veterans Day was officially created in 1954 replacing the original holiday that was created in 1918. “Armistice Day” marked the historic event that officially ended the war in Europe that America had entered into a little more than a year earlier. An agreement was signed by the warring factions just as the morning clock was approaching the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.

Celebrations were held in the nation’s largest cities and old-timers would later recall where they were when they heard the news, much like we remember where we were on 9-11 or for the older folks, the day President Kennedy was killed. It became known worldwide as “Armistice Day” and many groups commemorated the ending of the violence with “Remembrance Day” activities that corresponded with the honoring of those who died and those who entered into harm’s way for the benefit of others.

 

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In the United States, Congress officially changed the name of the holiday shortly after the Korean War ended. Canada and Australia observe “Remembrance Day” on November 11, and Great Britain observes “Remembrance Day” on the Sunday nearest to November 11. Armistice Day remains the name of the holiday in France and Belgium, and it has been a statutory holiday in Serbia since 2012. In Italy, the end of World War I is commemorated on 4 November, the day of the Armistice of Villa Giusti.

Native Americans honor veterans in a different way that helps them in returning home from the wars, particularly if you’re a Vietnam veteran. During a Powwow, the Indians parade in full dress while they conduct a ceremony involving feasting, singing and dancing. At the very end, they call for all veterans in the audience to join in their circle as they perform their final dance and come to a stop lining up to shake hands with each and every soldier, sailor, marine, airman and coast guard and quietly tell us “Welcome Home.”

(For a look at another vet story please see this, my all-time Favorite Veterans Day Tribute.)

 

 

8 comments on “‘Welcome Home’ this Veterans Day 2018

  1. inhiscare753 says:

    Very well written and informative, Sir. I am very grateful for your service. InHisCare

    Like

  2. Have you ever been to the Roasting Ears of Corn Festival in Allentown? It’s held at the Museum of Indian Culture in August. I go every year. They perform this exact ceremony at the close of the Grand Entrance. Yes, they are in full Indian costume, drums beating, and indian dancing and invite all veterans to join them at the end. I was amazed the first time I saw this and also quite moved, considering the horrendous acts and war atrocities we once committed against their people. It was a beautiful thing to witness. By the way, happy Veterans Day to you Michael J. Thank you for your service.

    Liked by 1 person

    • contoveros says:

      Native Americans know the scars persons serving in war bring home with them. The entire village is aware of the braves and how battles change young men and the need for families and friends to accept the changes brought on by such experiences..

      A psychologist helping veterans with PTSD pointed this out and told a story that ties into what you mention about the atrocities the United States imposed on them A group of Native Americans — I’m not sure which tribe — had agreed to take part in a flag ceremony with members of the US Army’s 7th Calvary. That’s the one that was lead by Custer at the Battle of the Little Big Horn.

      The soldiers and the Indians greeted each other with respect and a certain knowledge about war that only participants seem to know about. They placed the regimental flag right next to the Indian flag and all offered a salute despite their forefathers having been sworn enemies.

      Each understood the need for veterans to put there past behind them and to appreciate the present moment in welcoming them hoe from war.t.

      Liked by 1 person

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