For one day, we stand united in respect for you, our veterans. Veterans Day gives the country an opportunity to thank those who have previously served in the U.S. military. Veterans Day occurs on November 11th every year in the United States in honor of the “eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month” of 1918 that signaled the end of World War I. Veterans Day commemorates veterans of all wars.
Veterans Day originated as “Armistice Day” on November 11, 1919, the first anniversary of the end of World War I. Congress passed a resolution in 1926 for an annual observance, and November 11th became a national holiday beginning in 1938.
Springfield Masonic Community (SMC) annually holds a Veteran’s Day gathering. Nearly 25 veterans from all branches of the military gathered in the Clubhouse for recognition of their service. In typical military fashion, the program began with the playing of our National Anthem.
The veteran’s enjoyed lunch and the gift. One of the most enjoyable parts of the day was the guest speaker, Bob Allen of Ohio Hospice. He spoke of his years as a U.S. Army veteran who flew helicopters during the Vietnam War. He was one of four who delivered the meals and as they were getting ready to leave, the base came under mortar attack. The four officers were the only people working so they began evacuation of wounded and delivering ammunition, making multiple trips in a helicopter with Santa Claus painted on the nose.
During a recent speech at Van Cleve Elementary School in Troy, Ohio Allen told this story. A sixth-grade student approached Allen and told him that he had heard this story before. His grandfather spoke of owing his life to the guys flying a helicopter with Santa painted on the front, on Christmas, 1969. The young man thanked Allen, saying that if it had not been for him, his father would never have been born, so he would not be here either if it weren’t for Bob Allen and his fellow pilots.
The military men and women who serve and protect the United States come from all walks of life. They are parents, children, grandparents, friends, neighbors and coworkers, and are a vital part of their communities. Bob Allen closed his comments by saying, “Thank you for stepping up when your country needed you.”