A few years ago Jana and I were walking through Heathrow airport in London rushing – as usual – to catch a plane back home. We were pretty worn out and weren’t aware of it being November 11 – Veteran’s Day in the US. But at 10:59 an announcement rang through the entire airport.
With typical British formality and accent it informed us that in one minute, at exactly 11 o’clock, everyone was requested to stop whatever they were doing and give one minute of silence in honor of all veterans – including Americans and others who fought for England.
It was amazing. At 11 oclock the bustling airport froze. No one and nothing moved for one minute. Sixty seconds later the announcer said “thank you” and the volume and activity immediately returned to the original frenzy.
I’d like to suggest you teach your kids the meaning of Veteran’s Day. Scripture says give honor to whom honor is due and veterans have certainly earned the thanks and honor of the nation they served and defended.
To help out, here’s some interesting information about the day.
Veterans Day honors men and women who served in the armed forces – the US Army, Navy, Marine Corps, Air Force and Coast Guard. These brave men and women put their lives at risk to ensure that the rest of us can enjoy the freedom we often take for granted.
Why November 11?
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day when it was first celebrated in 1918. It became a legal holiday in 1938 as a day to honor soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines who served in World War I. The date was chosen because WWI officially ended at 11:00 am on 11/11/1918 when the Armistice with Germany went into effect.
After WWII and the Korean War the holiday was renamed Veterans Day to include all those that fought in all wars.
Memorial Day and Veterans Day both honor military personnel but Memorial Day pays tribute to the men and women that died serving our country – hence the term “Memorial”. Veterans Day honors those who are still alive and have served at anytime – during war or peace
In the UK, the day is used to honor all its veterans, living or dead, and called Remembrance Day. On 11/11 at 11:00 am the nation stops to remember its veterans and the sacrifices they made for their nation.
“We sleep soundly in our beds because rough men stand ready in the night to visit violence on those who would do us harm.”
“An outspoken pacifist is by nature a hypocrite. He can only abjure violence because others are willing to endure violence to protect his freedom to scorn them.
Men can only be highly civilized if other men, inevitably less civilized, are willing to sacrifice their lives to protect them and their civility.”
On a related note: Is it OK Christians serve in the military?
Check out this very brief Bible Study that looks into that issue.