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Thank you to all

November 11, 2013
By MIKE MATHISON - Sports editor ( , The Herald-Star

From the United States Department of Veterans Affairs:

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 11th hour of the 11th day of the eleventh month. For that reason, Nov.11, 1918, is generally regarded as the end of "the war to end all wars."

In November 1919, President (Woodrow) Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country's service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations "

The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.

The United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926, with these words:

Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary, and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and

Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and

Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared Nov. 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.

An Act (52 Stat. 351; 5 U. S. Code, Sec. 87a) approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a legal holiday-a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as "Armistice Day." 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; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the Act of 1938 by striking out the word "Armistice" and inserting in its place the word "Veterans." With the approval of this legislation (Public Law 380) on June 1, 1954, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.

Later that same year, on Oct. 8, President Dwight D. Eisenhower issued the first "Veterans Day Proclamation" which stated: "In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations, and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose. Toward this end, I am designating the Administrator of Veterans' Affairs as Chairman of a Veterans Day National Committee, which shall include such other persons as the Chairman may select, and which will coordinate at the national level necessary planning for the observance. I am also requesting the heads of all departments and agencies of the Executive branch of the Government to assist the National Committee in every way possible."

A high school playoff football game will be played tonight in Erie.

It was postponed from Saturday because of an accident that claimed the lives of three players - two high school students and football players at Sharon High School and a father who had just turned 50.

Cory Swartz, 18, and Evan Gill, 17, were seniors at Sharon High School. Both were pronounced dead at the scene.

John Zdelar Jr. was pronounced dead at Sharon Regional Hospital.

We forget about this when we complain about how the coaching staff of (insert your favorite high school football team) underachieved.

And, I understand why.

Sports is sports and life is life.

And, to many, far too many, sports is life.

We forget about that day when Indian Creek football coach Andrew Connor received a phone call and was the first person on the scene at the accident the morning of Jan. 15, 2012, involving Redskins students, including his son, and left Justin Cummings paralyzed.

We forget about that night in Steubenville when Lee West died in a fire.

We forget about Amanda Looman losing her life at 21 after being involved in a car accident.

We forget.

We forget as we are yelling, as an adult, at a kid on the other team.

We forget as we watch an expected 8-2 playoff season turn into a 6-4 season.

And, by the way, watch your expectations.

Using Creek as an example, do you fans understand that the program is 21-5 in its last 26 games?

It is rather funny that the wallflowers (those in the stands) question if the coaching staff (pick a football team) has what it takes to take the program to the next level.

I guess a gazillion hours of scouting, watching film, being in the weight room (among a laundry list of things) and loving on the kids isn't enough.

You see, we all know that every senior on every football team is going to play at the collegiate level.

Every kid is good enough to get a scholarship and every kid has a perfect attitude day in and day out.

So, if that's the case, how does a team go 1-9 or 3-7 or 5-5 or 7-3 or 9-1.

How does a team make (or miss) the playoffs?

One pathetic call by an official aside, Harrison Central misses the playoffs because it was in Region 15. It makes the playoffs if in Region 17.

This very well may have been the best coaching job by Justin Kropka and his Huskies staff. But, people look at 5-5 and can't figure out how the team didn't play each week like it did against Indian Creek.

And, just remember, two years ago the Harrison Central community dealt with the death of Jimmy Cameron.

We forget the thousands upon thousands who went before us allowing us the freedom to whine on Internet forums about how our football coach stinks and someone else should be in charge.

And, on that note, if you won't go up to a person and same something to their face, why do it in secrecy on a forum?

Yes, rhetorical question.

"A black Dodge Ram pickup truck with severe damage to its front and side came to rest along the south embankment. The male driver of the pickup truck was one of the fatalities. Two children, ages 10 and 12, were in the back of the truck. The 10-year-old was taken to Sharon Regional Health System, and the 12-year-old was flown to a pediatric burn unit."

We lose perspective when it comes to sports.

And, most of the time, we just don't lose perspective - we lose perspective.

"And to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us." - Ephesians 3:19-20

(Mathison, a Weirton resident, is the sports editor of the Herald-Star and The Weirton Daily Times and can be contacted at

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