Patriotism is alive and well, if this weekend’s parades are any indication. In cities all across the country people shivered as they sat on cold concrete curbs to pay their respects to America’s veterans.
I saw it firsthand in Boise, Idaho, but there were parades all over the country, of course. They are so deeply engrained in American culture that Veterans Day parades have taken on sort of a Rockwellian character.
That’s a good thing.
Philadelphia even jumped in and hosted its first ever Veterans Day parade this weekend (click here for video).
The holiday was originally envisioned to celebrate the armistice ending World War I. “In 1953, Alvin J. King [of Emporia, Kansas]proposed that Armistice Day be changed to Veterans Day to recognize and honor all veterans from all wars and conflicts. Veterans Day was first organized and celebrated in Emporia in 1953. Kansas Congressman Ed Rees, also an Emporian, then took King’s proposal to Congress, and President Dwight D. Eisenhower, also of Kansas, signed the bill proclaiming November 11 as Veterans Day. The first nationwide observance of Veterans Day was on November 11, 1954.” (From the Emporia, Kansas Chamber of Commerce)
It has become a grass roots holiday celebrated all across the nation to honor those who serve and have served. It reminds all of us what a privilege it is to live in such a special place, protected by such special people.
Watch any one of the parades around the country and you will feel it too.