Column 1: Veteran’s Day

Martinez News-Gazette Columnist

VETERAN’S DAY, that day on November 11 each year, Is here once again to give a grateful nation the opportunity to recognize and pay tribute to the men and women who have served us in the armed forces, in peace, in times of international crisis and in battle when necessary to preserve our security.

For those old enough to remember, we used to celebrate Armistice Day on November 11, a remembrance of the signing of the document ending the fightingv in Europe, the ‘war to end all wars’. as was thought in those days. Few could imagine another war which devastated Europe, cost millions of lives, soldiers and civilians. However, World War Two began just 21 years later with Adolph Hitler’s Nazi moving to take over Europe. That war devastated Europe again from 1939 to 1945, and found the United States involved there and in the Pacific against the Imperial Japanese armed forces after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, December 7, 1941, ending in the summer of 1945.

The Treaty of Versailles was signed seven months later putting an end to The Great War. However, the United States never did ratify the treaty. As someone asked, “Does that mean we are still in conflict with the Ottomans?” Leave it alone!!!

Interesting history note: World War One ended with an armistice. (Stop the fighting!) The fighting stopped on the 11th hour, of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. Thus, November 11 became Armistice Day in the United States, and remained so with all the celebrations, etc., until President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed November 11 as Veterans Day to recognize and pay tribute to the men and women of our armed forces throughout our history.

Unfortunately, this national holiday, meant to be an occasion of solemnity and reverence, has strayed from its original purpose. While most communities plan and hold ceremonies of some kind, the planning and executing of social events tend to overshadow the intended purpose.

Is a family outing with friends, with BBQ, beer and wonderful relationships, without OBSERVING what Veteran’S Day is all about, worth a national holiday? This old retired veteran thinks not, unless it is observed as it was meant to be. (Don’t burn the burgers, Charlie!)

Our community is proudly observing (celebrating?!) this important national day with ceremonies on Monday, November 11 at 10:00 a.m. at Alhambra Cemetery on Carquinez Drive, and at 11:00 a.m. at Ignacio Plaza at City Hall at 525 Henrietta Street.

Our grateful thanks to the Martinez Veterans Commission for its efforts, with the City of Martinez, to provide this observance. God Bless the United States of America and its millions of men and women who have served our nation in combat or in support missions. They are the reason we are still a free nation. And, we have volunteer armed forces in the Army, Navy, Marine Corps and U. S. Coast Guard.

Our thanks, also, to the communities of Walnut Creek, Concord, Pleasant Hill and the Diablo Valley College campus for its week-long schedule of events celebrating Veterans’ Day, concluding with a football game on November 15.

Operation Documentation !!! for veterans who need help with many issues will be held on November 13, from 8 noon at the Concord Veterans Center. Help for vets with issues will be available.

MEANWHILE, as the nation observes Veteran’s Day, what is going on in our Capital is appalling. Locked up in the impeachment process, and while we hear many pieces of legislation are moving forward from the House, but hung up by Mitch (Sour Puss) Mc Connell, we the citizens are held in limbo waiting for the next ‘tasty’ revelation from a variety of House hearings. (A famous line from a movie with the Mexican bandito Pancho Villa, “OK, give him a fair trial, then hang him.”) Seems like the ‘Chief’ and his cronies, elected and appointed, are headed for a public ‘trial’ before the U. S. Senate when the tons of absolute terrible misdeeds (felonious?!) come to light in front of the entire nation. How can any thinking American still stick with this unfit leader of our nation? What are they thinking? Are they thinking??

CHEERS to all of our local region fire fighters and law enforcement personnel for keeping us safe. Their response to so many local wild fires during the recent ‘winds’ is remarkable and commendable. We thank you all with great gratitude. God Bless!

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