November 13, 2015 Share

Honoring our veterans

By Karah Wilson, Sports Editor

karah@southerntorch.com

DEKALB, Ala.— World War I, or “The Great War,” ended on June 28, 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Palace of Versailles in France. Fighting had ended 7 months prior, however, when an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This day would be called Armistice Day. On June 1, 1954, President Eisenhower signs legislation which changed the name from Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day.

Veteran’s Day is a lot more than just a day off of work or a day of off school, though it may not seem like that to those who have never been affected by the hardships of war. This day is set aside to honor all of those who served in any branch of the Armed Forces whether alive or deceased. Many cannot fathom how many lives have been taken since WWI. War has been something this country has seen from the wee hours of its birth. America had to fight a war for the freedom that we have today.

As we see another Veteran’s Day come and go, America still has troops serving in more than one part of the Middle East. Our county has continuously seen war, time and time again. The men and women that go to foreign lands, or even stay on familiar soil, are very brave men and women. The price that these brave soldiers pay everyday is not something America can ever pay back, which is why we celebrate this day as a day for them.

This country has seen many men and women off to fight but never saw them come home. The total that America currently holds is in the millions when it comes to those soldiers. With World War II, we saw over 400,000 soldiers killed while in combat. The Korean War saw over 50,000 casualties to Americans. The Vietnam War had over 50,000 as well. The Iraq war, which ended in 2011, saw over 4,000 and the Afghanistan War has so far seen over 2,000 with a number still growing. The rough number of lives lost since WWII is 506,000.

While we are still fighting in the Middle East, don’t forget to honor those who will not be able to get a day off for their hard work and dedication to this country. Freedom, even though you may think is free, is not. Our debt is paid by the soldiers who are leaving behind their families and friends to make sure that you and I are still able to keep our Constitutional privileges that were given to us by the men who fought and won against England in the eighteenth century. During this Veteran’s Day, make sure that you thank a veteran, whether you know that person or not. And while WWII did happen awhile back, there are still servicemen from that war around, though few of them.

I would like to make say a very special thank you myself. My father, Stephen Wilson and my grandfather, Roger Wilson both served in the United States Air Force. I thank you for serving the country and putting yourself at risk each and everyday to make sure that I could be doing what I am doing today. I love you both.

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