My hometown of Tulsa, Oklahoma boasts the 5th largest Veterans Day parade in the U.S. Isn't that something for a city ranking 46th in the U.S. by population?
Three veterans will lead today's parade in downtown Tulsa:
Parade Grand Marshall Paul Andert
Parade Chief of Staff Sam Childers
Parade Commander William Beal
On this day in 1918, World War I ended on the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11 hour. Veterans Day honors all U.S. Military veterans who have served, and are serving, our country.
On this day in 1921, The Tomb of the Unknowns was dedicated at Arlington Cemetary.
Tomb of the Unknowns - Veterans Day
On this day in 1996, the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund launched "The Wall that Heals." This half-scale replica of the Vietnam Veterans Memorial travels through communities, "Bringing the Wall Home" to communities where families and friends can visit "in the peace and comfort of familiar surroundings."
Vietnam Veterans Memorial - The Wall that Heals
World War II Veterans Memorial
The USS Oklahoma was the 37th battleship commissioned by the U.S. Navy. She moved to Pearl Harbor in October 1936. On December 5, 1941 she moored there with six other war ships at "Battleship Row." At 7:56 a.m. on December 7th, 1941 she was torpedoed and sunk within 12 minutes.
Okies on the USS Oklahoma
To the crew, she was affectionately know as "The Okie." A battleship was a small town gone to sea, her inhabitants mostly young and far from home.
One crewmember, USS Oklahoma survivor and author, Stephen Bower Young, wrote: "Despite the passage of time, it seems like yesterday. My mind sees clearly the shipmates I knew so well as they emerged, laughing and talking from a hatch, portside, main deck, aft, of the Oklahoma.
It is a time for morning quarters for muster, and at the urging of their petty officers, the white-uniformed sailors good-naturedly form into double ranks. They stand at ease...squaring round hats over suntanned faces...their talk is animated and they turn in my direction. Then a cloud grows darker and I see those certain few less clearly."
The Korean War, which continues today, is sometimes known as the "forgotten war."
Korean War Veterans Memorial
33,741 US Dead
23,615 Killed In Action
92,134 US Wounded
4,820 US Missing In Action (Declared Dead)
7,245 Prisoners Of War
2,847 Died in POW Camp
389 POWs known to have been alive after all U.S. POWs supposedly returned.
The lightly wounded, and released back to duty are not included in these figures.
Veterans Day - Desert Storm - Persian Gulf Wars
Veterans Day - Iraq War
Veterans Day - Afghanistan War
On this day in 1620, the Mayflower Compact was signed. The first colonists leading the way to America, as we know it today, signed a governing document for Plymouth Colony. The colonists crossed the Atlantic Ocean aboard the Mayflower. At least half of those were Christians, seeking the freedom to practice Christianity, without the tyrannical direction of the the King James. The Compact clearly established that the Colony would be free of English law. "It was devised to set up a government from within themselves and was written by those to be governed." The compact began "In the name of God, Amen."
When creating the Mayflower Compact, the signers believed that covenants were not only to be honored between God and man, but also between each other. They had always honored covenants as part of their righteous integrity and agreed to be bound by this same principle with the Compact. John Adams and many historians have referred to the Mayflower Compact as the foundation of the U.S. Constitution written more than 150 later.
America was indeed begun by men who honored God and set their founding principles by the words of the Bible. They lived their lives with honesty, reliability, and fairness toward establishing this country “for the sake of its survival.” A great many of America’s Founding Fathers have been quoted in regard to living by Biblical values.
On this day of honoring, remembering, and memorializing our veterans, it is good to remember that our military consists of many religious and non-religious beliefs - but always, our wars have been about liberation, never about occupation, never about confiscation. On this day, I remember my father, who served in WWII and two brothers who served in the U.S. Air Force and I am praying God's blessing on all who have served and are serving. The Veterans Day parade in Tulsa, Oklahoma has just begun.
Tulsa Photo courtesy Caleb Long
Photos of Tulsa Veterans Day leaders courtesy Newson6
Afghanistan soldier photo courtesy Photo/Christopher T. Sneed/U.S. Army