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Southern Heritage <br>News and Views: A Veterans Day Tribute and Remembrance

Saturday, November 07, 2009

A Veterans Day Tribute and Remembrance

By Calvin E. Johnson, Jr., Author of book “When American Stood for God, Family and Country,” Freelance writer and member of the Sons of Confederate Veterans.

Veterans Day, Wednesday November 11th, is a time to pause and thank our Veterans!

But is America still a Free and Sovereign Nation where courageous men and women fought for the right of free speech, the press, worship, the right to keep and bear arms and real freedom?

Do we still teach our children about men like Patrick Henry who said “Give me Liberty or Give me Death?”

What does Veterans Day mean to you?

To me, Veterans Day, is a time to remember American patriot Patrick Henry who said, "It can not be emphasized too strongly are too often that this great nation was founded not by the religionists but by Christians, not on religion but on the Gospel of Jesus Christ."

Let us remember that General George Washington led his troops in prayer before they crossed the Delaware River on a cold-snowy night to surprise the British and Hessian troops on December 26, 1776. They gained a great victory in the worst of conditions.

Our children should know of Andrew Jackson and a ragtag army who defeated the British at New Orleans in 1815. A young officer named Wade Hampton of South Carolina rode 750 miles in ten days to Columbia, South Carolina, and then to Washington, D.C. to tell President Madison and the country of the great victory.

We shall never forget that in March, 1836, a small band of men at the Alamo stood between Santa Anna's 5,000 man army and the unprepared small army of Sam Houston. In the lonely monastery were Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and less than two hundred men. Just three days before Santa Anna's final assault, these men came into the Alamo, knowing their lives were at great risk.

On their last night on earth the Alamo men prayed that their battle would, somehow, lead to victory even though they would die. Their prayer was answered. A few days later at San Jacinto, Houston defeated Santa Anna with the battle cry of, "Remember the Alamo!”

Let us remember “1861” when our nation became two nations. The South under President Jefferson Davis and the North under President Abraham Lincoln, fought for four long, bloody years to decide our future. Both armies prayed to the same God for guidance. This war has many names but the United States Congress would officially name it "The War Between the States." Since 1865, the Confederate Battle flag has been the blood brother of the Stars and Stripes as Southerners have taken their place at the front in all our nation's wars.

Let us remember that in February of 1898 the American Battleship Maine blew up in Havana Harbor with nearly 300 dead. The Spanish-American War brought Teddy Roosevelt's "Roughriders" to Cuba to charge up San Juan Hill to victory. Old Joe Wheeler, an ex-Confederate Cavalry General, was there with him. Wheeler got excited and forgot which war he was in. He shouted, "There they are, go get those Yankees!"

In Greensboro, North Carolina a six year old girl named Mary Frances Barker awoke to the shouts of a boy far down the street. It was 5 A.M., November 12, 1918. It was the paper boy shouting, "The War is Over, the war is over!" World War one had finally ended on the 11th day of the 11th hour of the 11th month of November in 1918.

The United States Congress proclaimed "Armistice Day" a year later on November 11, 1919.

On Sunday, December 7, 1941, the first word of the attack on Pearl Harbor came by radio. Newspapers did run "extras" that Sunday with little information and a lot of fear. This Sunday would become "a day of infamy." On Monday the 8th President Franklin D. Roosevelt, during a special session of congress, told of the attack and declared war on Japan. His speech was broadcast on the radio.

F.D.R.'s closing words were: "With the abounded determination of our people, we will gain the inevitable triumph, so help us God!"

Since that time there was Korea, Vietnam, Grenada, Desert Storm, Afghanistan and Iraq. We can not forget they we were attacked again on September 11, 2001.

We have, since World War II, seen prayer taken out of our schools and "Under God" in the pledge of allegiance under attack. Are we still a nation of God as we once were during the times of our founding fathers and mothers? With all that is happening in the world today, it seems to me that we may need God more then ever.

Armistice Day became Veterans Day in 1954. To forget our Veterans is to dishonor!


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