Beth Am honors Veterans Day 2014
Congregation Beth Am in Longwood invites all Jewish Veterans, our military men and women on active duty and their families to attend the Shabbat Morning service at 9:30 a.m. on Nov. 8, 2014 in recognition of Veterans Day. Included in the invitation are the surviving families of those who have served our country. This year Beth Am encourages the families of our young men and women currently stationed in American, Afghanistan, Iraq, and on military posts throughout the world to attend this special service. Rabbi Rick Sherwin believes that the Jewish community must acknowledge those who have served our country through the years in times of peace and times of war.
Initially proclaimed as Armistice Day on Nov. 11, 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson, the day commemorated the cessation of World War I hostilities between the Allied nations and Germany on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month one year earlier. The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11a.m. Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I; but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history and after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, struck out the word “Armistice” and inserted in its place the word “Veterans.” On June 1, 1954, Nov. 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Veterans Day continues to be observed on Nov. 11, regardless of what day of the week on which it falls. The restoration of the observance of Veterans Day to Nov. 11 not only preserves the historical significance of the date, but helps focus attention on the important purpose of Veterans Day: A celebration to honor America’s veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
Simon Mendel, a Beth Am member who served in the United States Air Force in Southeast Asia added, “We owe a debt of gratitude to those who have stepped forward to serve our country and, in some cases, put their lives on the line. Veterans Day is the perfect time to show them and their families how much we appreciate them.”
All military personnel, past and present, the Ladies Auxiliary of the Jewish War Veterans and spouses of veterans will be honored during this service. A “Kaddish” prayer, which will be honoring the memory of the departed men and women who served with courage and sacrifice in the many wars of the United States, will be offered. Those serving in our military deserve the recognition of their service and their willingness to fight for the ideals that make our country the beacon for freedom in the world.
Beth Am is located at 3899 Sand Lake Road in Longwood, Seminole County. A map with directions to Beth Am can be found on the congregation’s web site at http://www.CongBethAm.org.