The observance of Veteran’s Day can be traced back to 1919, when Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 Armistice Day to celebrate the end of World War I. He said, “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…”
While the name has changed, the date and the sentiment remain. No matter what each individual’s view of the concept of war may be, those who serve in the armed forces deserve our thanks. Today is a national holiday of pride and gratitude for those who put themselves in harms way for us. Some may be friends and family members, thousands more are total strangers, but their courageous service is appreciated nevertheless.
“While our foremost thoughts are with those in distant war zones today, Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay their respects to all who answered the nation’s call to military service,” said James B. Peake, Ph.D., Secretary of Veterans Affairs. “Participation in Veterans Day can be as simple as putting out the porch flag or reminding youngsters of the story of a relative who served in the military.”
To those who have served and those who continue to serve, I would like to say, simply, thank you. We would quite literally not be here without you.