10 Nov A Word From Dr. Satterly—November 10, 2022
Dear WA Community,
The first Tuesday, after the first Monday in November, is Election Day. The significance of that day is not lost, as the airwaves, mailboxes, and most street corners attest. Nor should we ignore its importance, for as Christian citizens, we have a duty to participate in the electoral process. But, even more than a duty, we have the opportunity to participate civically in our own governance. This is a blessing, a rich heritage, and the envy of much of the world.
While that particular Tuesday in November is critical to our republic, it is not the only date early in the month that matters. In fact, one might argue that Veterans Day is even more notable because it represents the service of those who have stood in the gap to ensure that the rest of us have freedom and all that comes with it, including the duty and privilege to vote.
Veterans Day was originally established as Armistice Day, marking the end of World War I. The “war to end all wars” ended at the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month. It wasn’t until 1954 that Veterans Day came to its current form. For many of us, the impact of World War I is elusive. We are a bit more familiar with the second world war, but even that is beginning to fade. In reality, the shock of World War I was profound. Europe was wrecked, dynasties destroyed, and an entire generation of young men was nearly eradicated. The old world passed away and planted the seeds of the one we know today.
Another notable aspect of this holiday is how it is correctly written—Veterans Day. While often incorrectly cited with an apostrophe indicating a possessive tense, the day does not belong to veterans. It belongs to all Americans. It is the day we recognize what veterans have provided our citizenry, and for that, we are grateful.
Westminster Academy celebrates Veterans Day with a schoolwide chapel. We do so because teaching students about history and civics is essential and part of our curriculum. We also do so because it is appropriate to give honor where honor is due, and we want to demonstrate this to our students. Our school holds this day before our students and our community because it serves to clearly demonstrate service, the notion of being part of something bigger than oneself, and the power of mission. We do so because it reminds us of the faithful service of those who have gone before. Yet these and other very fine reasons are not the most compelling. Rather, we do this because the military service of others points us to a bigger idea—service for the Kingdom. For those of us in Christ, we have been called to serve faithfully. Veterans Day is a tangible reminder of that.
To God be the Glory!
Dr. Joel Satterly