Since my honorable discharge from a tour of duty serving in the U.S. Navy, between 1969-72, each Veterans Day I take a moment to pause and remember the sacrifices of the men and women who served in our nation’s military service.

This calls to mind those who fought and perished for our freedom since the birth of our great nation, as well as the families and friends left behind, and in particular those who remain “missing-in-action” from all wars.

Veterans Day, a special day for each of us to pause, remember, and pray for veterans, past and present, living, and deceased, active and retired.

First, a brief history lesson. “World War I — known at the time as ‘The Great War,’ officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. However, fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of the war to end all wars.” (VA Office of Public and Intergovernmental Affairs)

The war to end all wars? Since the first Veterans Day on Nov. 11, 1918, we’ve been called to arms over and over again in service to our country in World War II (the Greatest Generation), Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Afghanistan War, Iraq War, and now the distressing resurgence of the Cold War.

In light of the ever-growing divisiveness throughout the world, in our nation — and for many, with each other — the word “indivisible” should take on a special meaning this Veterans Day. We cannot control the divisions in the world; however, there is hope that we can work together to reduce the divisiveness in our nation, communities, and families.


On Veterans Day, we reflect on the meaning of an incredibly special word; the word “indivisible.” A writer once remarked defining the word indivisible, as “something indivisible cannot be broken up or divided: it’s rock solid. The most common use of the word indivisible is in our Pledge of Allegiance, where it is used to show how our country is united and can’t be broken up.”

On the 11th month, 11th day and 11th hour, may we pause for 11 seconds as Americans, unified and united, giving thanks and praise to our veterans, as one nation “indivisible,” under God, with justice for all.

As a U. S. Navy veteran, indivisible, being “rock solid” was the way my Navy comrades and I watched out for each other. I believe that the men and women serving in today’s military forces continue to follow that same tradition — “Got your six,” meaning “I’ve got your back.”

It’s interesting to note that we began celebrating Veterans Day at the end of World War I, and the saying originated in 1918 with World War I fighter pilots referencing a pilot’s rear as the six o’clock position.

May we continue for another 104 years to watch out for each other, especially on Veterans Day 2022. And to all veterans, I’ve got your six.

Deacon Denis Mailhot, Auburn

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