Can you feel the cool air in the mornings? Do you think about deer and turkey hunting? You should. Do you think about the Pilgrims at Plymouth Colony getting ready for a meal of thanks? Thanks for what? For Blessings. For just making it through the year and still being alive and having family and friends surrounding you. Think of the hardships that they went through and what they had to face each day. Makes our troubles and worries seem slight does it not?
Thanks Giving Day. Thursday, 26 November 2020. May each of our members and their families find peace and prosperity on that day. May each of our VFW members be surrounded by those who love and care for them. Remember those fellow warriors that are now gone from our ranks and Give Thanks that they lived and served with us.
Do you know what else that we need to be thankful for? We need to be thankful for our U S Marines. Tuesday, 10 November marks the 245th birthday of the U S Marine Corps. Founded in 1775 in all its glory at Tun Tavern in Philadelphia, PA. This old tavern is regarded as the traditional site of the first recruiting drive for Marines during the Revolutionary War. (Our very own Larry Chapman was actually sitting there at the bar enjoying a cold one and may have been one of the first recruits. This is not actually documented and he does not remember, so we will just leave the story at that). Led by Commandant Samuel Nicholas, the 2100 Marines served with honor and distinction and helped us become a nation.
From these humble beginnings the U S Marine Corps now has 21 bases in the US and other locations and has over 180,000 Marines and 38,000 Reserve Marines ready to defend our nation. They have fought with honor in every conflict in our nation’s history. They are a lot like Army guys, but with much prettier dress uniforms. Some of them even fly jets and helicopters.
The first men were called the Continental Marines and they were officially established as a landing force of the U S Navy. In 1798, the Congress made them a separate service. In 1812, Marine detachments on Navy ships took part in some of the famous frigate duels that marked that war. In 1867, a French composer put together the music that would become the basis for the Marine Corps Hymn. It is considered to be the oldest official song of the U S Armed Services. In 1918, a lady by the name of Opha May Johnson became the first female Marine in history. And more recently in September 2020, another female Marine, SGT Dorothy Schmidt Cole, turned 107 years old. She is the oldest living U S Marine in the world. She served from July 1943 to December 1945 as a clerk typist. Oorah for her. By the way, did you know that Marines started saying “Oorah” in 1953!!
Our very first VFW Post 2933 Commander was Marine COL (Ret.) Prentice A. (P A) Lindsay, Marine Aviator and Vietnam Vet and our current Commander is Marine SGT Jerry L. Martin, Vietnam Vet. Thank God for all our U S Marines both past and present. They are a fighting force that is the envy of the world. They are represented by the official emblem and insignia called the Eagle, Globe, and Anchor, or the EGA for short. Its root and design came from the Continental Marines. The current emblem was adopted in 1955. A very Happy Birthday wish to all our Marines.
And this brings us to the Grand Finale for November. Armistice/Veterans Day 2020. If you are old you know what this is. If you are one of the younger veterans then you may not know what it is. On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month an eerie silence fell over the battlefields of Europe in 1918. A temporary halt was called and the guns went silent and the fighting stopped in the Great War as it was called at the time. Although the Treaty of Versailles, signed on June 28, 1919, actually ended the war officially, the American public still viewed 11 November as the day the war ended. The following year President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed 11 November as Armistice Day. It was the day that was the end of all wars. And it was called Armistice Day all the way until 1954.
What actually happened was that we had, in the years between 1919 and 1954, two more big wars, WWII and the Korean War. After lobbying efforts by veteran’s organizations, the Congress passed a law and it was signed by President Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1954. The law changed the name from Armistice to Veterans Day, a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Over the years the date was changed to reflect a day that would give government employees a three day weekend. It was moved to the fourth Monday in October. Many states disapproved of this and continued to observe the 11th of November. President Gerald Ford, in 1975, signed legislation making 11 November the official date of Veterans Day.
We wish all of our Veterans a very Happy Veterans Day and we thank you for your service.
PS: By the way it is your RIGHT to vote. Be sure to cast your vote, either early or on Tuesday, 3 November.