This year Veterans Day, November 11th, falls on Sunday, so it is being celebrated the day before, on Saturday, November 10, in most places as well as in Norris City.
Veterans Day was originally called Armistice Day and celebrated the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. The name was later changed to Veterans Day and designated as a day to honor all veterans of all wars and the sacrifices they made to ensure our freedoms.
When I was growing up, we still had veterans from World War I still living in Norris City. My dad had two older brothers and my mom had one older brother who served in World War I. Both of Dad’s brothers served in the army, and Mom’s brother served in the Navy. I did have some long talks with my mom’s brother about his experiences during World War I. I wish I had been able to do the same with Dad’s brothers.
Now I wish I had taken the time to talk more to our World War II veterans. Now they are getting few in number. I did get to talk to some about their experiences, and I wish I had taken the time to talk to them some more. In my opinion, all of our World War II veterans were heroes. My question is if a similar circumstance happened today like happened during World War II, would we have people willing to come forward to defend freedom in America like they did.
Today, it scares me and makes me sad the way some of our own American citizens are spouting the Communist and Socialist propaganda of such men of the past as Karl Marx.
You don’t have people fleeing other countries to try to get into China, Russia, or Cuba like they are trying to get into the United States. Yet some of our own citizens already here in the United States are trying to turn the United States into a country like these people are fleeing. They want to enter the United States for freedom and equality and for a chance to earn a living to feed their families and to overcome poverty. But they must do it legally and they must be screened.
Some say World War II was fought in Europe and Asia and some say the same thing about other wars. But just stop and think that if our veterans hadn’t gone to these places to fight, the battles would eventually have been fought right here in the United States.
Japan attacked Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and would have taken it and then gone on to attack the west coast in California if our veterans hadn’t stopped their advances and pushed them back.
Hitler had his master plan of territory to conquer. He wanted to conquer the United States because of the many Americans who had German ancestry. Guess what Americans of German ancestry did? They stepped up and enlisted and fought hard for America against Hitler’s aggression.
Veterans who fought overseas in all of the wars the United States has been involved in have kept the battles out of our United States.
Now we have terrorists who are a different kind of enemy. They are difficult to locate and defeat because of their hit and run tactics. We need our veterans today to be ever vigilant and to use their training to help protect our freedom right here at home. When you meet a veteran, say “thank you.”
As a “thank you” to area veterans, the Second Annual Lunch for Veterans and their Families will be held on Saturday, November 10, 2018 at the Masonic Lodge Building in Norris City at 208 East Wabash Street (behind the Norris City Post Office). The lunch and program will start at 11 a.m. and will run until about 1 p.m. All veterans of all periods of time and their spouses are invited. Hope to see you veterans on Saturday, November 10.
If any veteran would like to share their story with the readers of these articles or if any veteran who has taken the Veterans Honor Flight to Washington, D. C. would like to tell our readers about their experience, please contact me at Edward Oliver, P. O. Box 456, Norris City, IL 62869 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.