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Talking it over -- 11-12-09

Most of us think that Veterans Day and Armistice Day, both observed on November 11, are exactly the same. In many ways they are but in other ways they each have their own unique themes. Armistice Day took place eighty one years ago and marked the end of World War I. A war that involved thirty five countries and lasted five years with the United States involved for one of those years.

The observance is technically at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This is the time when the 'Armistice' was signed to end the war. It was originally encouraged to observe a moment of silence at 11 a.m. each November 11.

As the years went by and more wars took place the observance was changed somewhat to include all wars and veterans of them. Today it is not only a time to honor veterans but also present day soldiers. A time to thank those who have and are serving our country in a variety of ways. Therefore the day was renamed Veterans Day.

It is wonderful to have a special day to recognize and honor these men and women, however, it should not stop with that one day. We need to keep them in our thoughts and prayers regularly as they continue to defend our freedoms. We also need to remember the families left behind and help them as they struggle through the days, weeks and months that their loved ones are away and in danger.

As another Veteran's Day passes by, it is not time to forget our veterans and soldiers. Some are sitting alone in Veterans Care Centers, others may be recovering in hospitals or at home, and some may be encountering battles within their minds and memories with no outward signs of their struggles.

Understanding, patience, love and thankfulness are some of the practices we need to constantly utilize with our veterans, past, present and future. They need us almost as much as we need them. I would like to say thank you to all veterans and let them know that they are appreciated every day, not just on Veterans Day.