Happy Veterans Day to those who have served or are currently serving. We appreciate your commitment to your country. Here are some things related to Veterans Day that you may or may not know:
- Veterans Day was first celebrated in 1954 when the previously celebrated holiday called Armistice Day was renamed. Armistice Day was celebrated on November 11th because the major hostilities of World War I were formally ended at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
- Veterans Day is not to be confused with Memorial Day, the holiday in May. Veterans Day celebrates the service of all U.S. military veterans, while Memorial Day honors those who died while in military service.
- The correct spelling of the holiday (according to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs) is Veterans Day without an apostrophe (e.g. Veteran’s Day or Veterans’ Day) “because it is not a day that ‘belongs’ to veterans, it is a day for honoring all veterans.”
- Veterans Day comes just one day after the birthday of the United States Marine Corps which was founded on November 10, 1775.
- Non-essential federal government offices are closed on Veterans Day so don’t bother going to the mail box. All federal workers are paid for the holiday; those who are required to work on the holiday sometimes receive holiday pay in addition to their normal wages. Banks are also closed but there are plenty of Veterans Day sales and special deals for veterans at restaurants.
- We all know that Marines say semper fi (coming from the Latin, Semper Fidelis, meaning Always Faithful) but what do the other branches of military say? From my research they say:
- Army – Hooah — which is a battle cry meaning charge – the Marine Corps version is Oorah – the Navy and Coast Guard version is Hooyah. The Army version was originally HOOA and was used by the Army Airborne in World War II and originally stood for “Head Out of Ass.” This was a spin-off of the Radio Operators term HUA (Heard, Understood, Acknowledged).
- Navy – the motto for members of the Navy is “Fair Winds and Following Seas”
- Air Force – I couldn’t find any information related to the Air Force as a whole but the motto of the Air Force Security Forces is Defensor Fortis which means Defenders of the Force.
- Coast Guard – Semper Paratus – which means Always Ready
- (If you have other info regarding this I’d love to hear it – email me at email@example.com
One more thing related to Veterans Day: in the Commonwealth of Nations, those nations and states that were at one time part of the British Empire, November 11th is celebrated as Remembrance Day. Remembrance Day is more akin to our Memorial Day in that it remembers the members of the armed forces who died in the line of duty. It is also known informally as Poppy Day because of the poppies worn to recognize the holiday. This year in Australia the famous sails of the Sydney Opera House will be illuminated with a projection of a field of poppies at 8 PM. The idea came from a 77-year old veteran, Paul Graham, who was selling poppies for people to wear and to his surprise he learned that most of the young people didn’t know what the poppies represent. The red poppy became a symbol remembrance after the end of WWI because thousands of them grew on the battlefields in Western Europe despite the carnage that had taken place. In response to Graham’s idea for the Opera House sails, British author Frederick Forsyth (The Day of the Jackal) wrote a poem that was set to music and used in a video to remember the holiday. You can see the video and read about the Australian celebration here. The video is really quite touching and well worth your time.
In matters related to the faith:
The Desiring God website has an interesting interview with John Piper where he answers the question Should We Obey Old Testament Law? The interview is available both in transcript and audio form if you’d rather listen. This is a question Christians often struggle with and I found Piper’s answer to be quite informative.
In a similar vein, on the Ligonier Ministries website is a Q & A with R.C. Sproul where he gives a response to Please define a miracle and state whether or not you think God still performs them today. He talks about the different ways the word “miracle” is viewed and those views fit in with the Christian faith. Again, very helpful.
Since we seem to be focusing on answers to questions — here’s one more for you. Kevin DeYoung gives answer to the question What do you understand by the providence of God? Here’s a couple of quick quote from his response: If we can’t predict a national election, what makes us think we can predict God’s plans for the next four years? What we do know is that our God never takes chances, never loses his way, and will never let us down. Good stuff.