According to Military.com, Veterans Day (November 11th) was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day – the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918. Established by Congress in 1938, November 11 was “dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be hereafter celebrated and known as ‘Armistice Day.’ The declared holiday honored the veterans of World War I. Then in 1954, following both World War II and the Korean War, the Act of 1938 was amended by striking out the word “Armistice” and inserting the word “Veterans.” November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Today I think of all the those within my family that sacrificed so much to serve America in wars that have been critical for world peace. They were dedicated to the preservation of freedoms and liberties of our Nation and throughout the world. For over 235 years, members of my family have defended and fought for the sacred values held within their hearts, many of the same are written within the Bible and the documents of our Nation’s foundation. They have served and fought for freedom not only because they felt it was their duty, but because they knew it was a call of honor. Today I enjoy many liberties and freedom in America because of those who served and sacrificed for all. Thank you to many family members, particularly the following:
- Thanks to my husband for serving in the Persian Gulf War, including service in Desert Shield and Desert Storm.
- Thanks to my dad, Charles W. Norman (1932-1979), for serving in the Korean War, as a member of the U.S. Army. He entered into active service on February 20, 1953 in Nashville, Tennessee as a Private – 2nd Class. He was promoted to Corporal (T) June 29, 1954. He was transferred to the US Army Reserves on December 18, 1954 through Fort Knox, Kentucky. He remained in the US Army Reserves, in standby mode, until he was fully released and honorably discharged on February 24, 1961. He received several metals for his service, including National Defense Service Metal (NDSM), United Nations Service Metal (UNSM), Korean Service Metal (KSM) and Good Conduct Metal (GCM).
- Thanks to my great uncle William “Bill” Cole (1923-2002), a pilot serving in World War II. He enlisted in the Army on the 29th December of 1942, serving until October 17, 1945 as a Private.
- Thanks to my granddad, Floyd M. Mills (1913-1981), for serving during World War II. My grandfather served in World War II as a member of the U.S. Army. He was enlisted on April 8, 1944 in Camp Shelby, Mississippi as a Private. I know from stories by my mom and grandmother that at some point my grandfather was stationed in Texas and later served in Germany.
- Thanks to my great-grandfather George W. Gibson (1844-1923) for serving during the Civil War. He was wounded at Ramond, Mississippi in 1863 with a mini ball in his left shoulder. A small Bible in his pocket deflected the bullet away from his heart. He was a prisoner in Yankee Camps at Fort Donelson in Nashville, Tn in 1864.
- Thanks to my great-grandfather John M. Tucker (1840-1888), for serving during the Civil War. He was captured, imprisoned and traded several times during his service. He was hit by a riffle ball in the hip, and although he was crippled from the shot, he continued to serve. Continuing problems with this crippling wound lead to his early death.
- Thanks to my great-great-great-great-grandfather, James Gilliam (1733-1794), who served in military operations of the American Revolutionary War with the Colonial soldiers of Lunenburg County, Virginia, including rangers and militia.
- Thanks to my great-great-great-great-grandfather, Joseph Lafayette Norman (1750-1809), who is believed to have served during the American Revolutionary War, possibly within the North Carolina militia.
Thank you to all of the men and women who have served and do serve in defending America, the values of life, liberty and freedom, and the hope of world peace.