The days between Veterans Day and Thanksgiving present to all us Americans an opportunity to reflect on those who served (and are serving) our country as we prepare to give thanks for our blessings in this part of the world. Frankly, in my mind, the two go hand-in-hand. Veterans Day and Thanksgiving.
As a nation, initially we would come to celebrate the end of World War I, November 11, 1918 as “Armistice Day,” later morphing into “Veteran’s Day” just past which a much more fitting better way to recognize the legions of individuals who ever contributed to the triumph of peace and freedom. So, you see, from the start in November 102 years ago, the two holidays are linked by the calendar.
If you served and are not a member of the legion, give it some thought. It was the American Legion which drafted the first GI Bill of Rights in 1944 and continues to be your strongest steward in Washington. By becoming a member you are making a two-part statement, the first being proud of your continuing service and second being thankful for the support of your comrades then and now. Start here with Hudson American Legion Post 184. Then, much you can participate is really up to you. Your membership counts. There are legions of Legionnaires who have your back and give thanks for your service, too.
Let’s put politics and pandemic aside for just a little while. To a greater or lesser degree we should all be able to agree to what our first president, George Washington, said by proclaiming in 1789 a day to give thanks for our “great degree of tranquility, union and plenty.”
Whether you’re a veteran or not, this Thanksgiving include in your toasts and prayers those who sacrificed their time and sometimes their health and lives for you and this nation. If you wore the uniform of the United States of America, give thanks for your country and your brothers and sisters, especially those who didn’t make it back. Give thanks to their families, too, who contributed in the sacrifices great and small.
Join us. Give thanks to a veteran for America. There are more than 17 million of us who still want to hear it.
Ed Coons is the Commander of the Hudson American Legion Post 184.