Honor Begets Honor

2019 | Week of November 11 | Radio Transcript #1333

Loyalty. Duty. Respect. Selfless Service. Honor. Integrity. Personal Courage—the seven core values of the United States Army. Honor. Courage. Commitment—the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps. Integrity First. Service Before Self. Excellence in All We Do—the U.S. Air Force. Honor. Respect. Devotion to Duty—the U.S. Coast Guard. Integrity. Commitment to People. Loyalty. Selfless Service. Excellence—the National Guard.

Powerful words, noble ideas—but really much, much more than that. Every veteran of every branch in the military has backed up those words with his/her life and service. Whether in time of peace or war, our servicemen and women, from every branch of the military, live and breathe those core values.

Honor is part of the core values of several different branches of the military. It’s a concept instilled in military recruits from day one. Our military has a proud history of honorably protecting, defending and serving the American people. Veteran’s Day, which this year was officially this past Monday, is our opportunity to honor our veterans in return.

Veteran’s Day began as “Armistice Day,” in commemoration of the armistice signed at the end of WWI, on November 11th, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. President Woodrow Wilson first recognized November 11th as Armistice Day in 1919.

Initially, the purpose of Armistice Day was to honor the lives of those who died in combat during WWI. In 1921, Congress passed a resolution declaring Armistice Day as a federal holiday in honor of those who served in WWI. The resolution also provided for a Tomb of the Unknown Soldier to be commemorated on November 11th. In 1921, America was certainly not expecting another world war.

However, in 1954, after WWII, President Eisenhower changed the holiday’s name to Veteran’s Day and so we have called it since. Veteran’s Day was expanded to include veterans of all the wars America has ever been involved with.

On Memorial Day, we honor those who died in service to our country. On Veteran’s Day, while we honor those who died, the main purpose of the day is to honor the living veterans. It’s a duty and a great privilege to honor those who served in the armed forces, both in combat and support positions.

But what does it really mean to honor our veterans? First of all, it’s not something we do only on November 11th each year. To honor means we show respect, we recognize sacrifices and achievements, and we show gratitude. We can do that year-round.

Selfless service, courage, commitment, loyalty, integrity, devotion—unfortunately, those are not concepts we normally think about on a day-to-day basis. Our servicemen and women live and die by them. Back in everyday America, we’re not often called on to make a difficult sacrifice, to remain loyal under life-threatening conditions or to act courageously. In fact, we live rather safe, normal, protected lives, thanks to our veterans.  Because of them, we enjoy our freedoms and individual rights.

One of the ways we honor our veterans is by protecting those freedoms for which they put their lives on the line. We, too, have a duty and a privilege to serve our country by protecting and exercising those freedoms. We do that when we vote. The secret ballot, for example, is one of the constitutional rights our veterans fought to protect.

We can preserve and advance the freedoms these brave men and women fought to protect by standing up for our liberty, such as the freedom to practice the religion of one’s choice, peaceably assembly and speak freely.

This side of eternity, we cannot know how much our veterans sacrificed and how much they suffered in service to their county. That is all the more reason to honor their commitment, service, integrity, devotion to duty, courage and loyalty. We have one of the most respected, effective, honorable military forces in the world.

To our veterans, may we sincerely thank you for your years of honorable service and sacrifice for the people of our county? We honor you for your courage in the face of danger, your commitment to your cause, your loyalty to your country and your comrades in arms and for the honor you bestow on our country by representing us abroad in times of war and peace.  May God bless our veterans!

This is Julaine Appling for Wisconsin Family Council, reminding you the Prophet Hosea said, “My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge.”

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