Living facts surround and embody Veterans Day across America today.
This visible network makes up the ranks of our families and our neighbors' families. They join many of us in visiting the graves of veterans across this land on this day. And they are the women and men we work with, go to school and church with, or just say hello to in a public place, day after day.
They are integral to the woven strength of the patriotic and humanistic fabric making up these United States of America. Their actions have followed those of our founders in 1776 who declared us to be one nation.
First termed Armistice Day 93 years ago today by President Woodrow Wilson, Veterans Day originally honored the sacrifices of World War I veterans. Their war ended the year before, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.
Wilson said this allowed Americans to "… be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory …" over German tyranny.
Expanded to honor all veterans by 1947, Armistice Day legally became known as Veterans Day in 1954 after congressional action.
For those who survived the trials of war, like former Portales resident Johnny Morgan on the ground in Europe, or Clovis' Sam Neff, who fought in the air over there, their memories of combat actions and comrades in arms remain vivid 60-plus years later.
No less vivid are those memories of their younger counterparts from Korea, Vietnam, Lebanon, Grenada, Panama, and the ongoing Gulf and Afghanistan fights.
Together, area veterans number in the thousands. They are the women and men who live in our communities and out at Cannon Air Force Base. Take a moment today and offer thanks for their service. Most will quietly appreciate it long after they tell you thanks.
Noting their title as veteran, no matter what other work they do or have done in life, is especially pleasing, and praise enough on Veterans Day.