Sunday, November 11, 2007

FanBoyWonder Salutes Veterans 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 11, 1919 on the one-year anniversary of what became to be known as “Armistice Day” and then later as “Veterans Day.”

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918, the final shot was fired in “The Great War” in Europe that somehow managed to draw in nations from around the globe, ending four long years of killing on an unprecedented scale…at least until the Second World War 20 years later.

According to the Veterans of Foreign Wars of the United States
Armistice Day officially received its name in America in 1926 through a congressional resolution. It became a national holiday 12 years later by similar congressional action. If World War I had been "the war to end all wars," November 11 might be still called Armistice Day.
Realizing that peace was equally preserved by veterans of World War II and Korea, Congress decided to make the day an occasion to honor all those who have served America. In 1954 President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day, according to the VFW.
A law passed in 1968 changed the national commemoration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. It soon became apparent, however, that November 11 was a date of historic significance to many Americans. Therefore, in 1978 Congress returned the observance to its traditional date.

Today is also the 25th anniversary of the dedication of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. More commonly known as “The Wall,” it is a solemn place for anyone who has ever visited it and we encourage everyone to visit and pay their respects at least once in their lifetime.

Recently on a return trip home to see the parents, FBW and Dad FanBoyWonder enjoyed a rare, prolonged conversation and an even rarer talk about Dad’s time in the service.

Following college, rather than waiting for his number to get called, Dad enlisted in the U.S. Navy. Following Officer Candidate School (OCS) Dad served two years aboard an aircraft carrier, U.S.S. America then his final year of his service at a naval base in Denang, Vietnam.

Dad is the last one to ever say that anything he did was heroic—he just did his job, fulfilled his military service obligation and then got back to his life with our mother and about a year later, FanBoyWonder was born.

Like so many other young men of the time (or any time), Dad had no great desire to go to war. But when many other of his contemporaries—including a couple future Commanders in Chief—found creative ways to dodge or shirk their own service obligations, Dad chose the option that was best for him in the most honorable way available and he did what he was called upon to do to the best of his ability.

We are proud of our Dad and not just for that.

Furthermore, Mrs. Lovey Wonder is a Navy Brat who comes from a long line of Career Navy sailors, including her late father, a Senior Master Chief, who served honorably for 30 years before passing away when she was a little girl.

To Dad FanBoyWonder, to Lovey’s Senior Master Chief and to the all the men and women, past and present who served or are now serving….especially those somewhere in harms way—and to the families who love them, Thank You!!!


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