A Thank You on Veteran’s Day
Known at the time as “The Great War,” World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919 when the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France. The fighting, however, had ended seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect in the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, was believed to be the end of “the war to end all wars.”
“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 United States Congress officially recognized the end of World War I when it passed a concurrent resolution on June 4, 1926. Sadly, 15 years after the resolution is passed, we’re once again involved in a World War. And men and women continued to faithfully serve our country to keep us free…with some making the ultimate sacrifice.
There have been other wars since that very first Armistice Day in 1919, but today, let’s echo the sentiment of President Ronald Reagan’s 1988 Veteran’s Day address:
“… in our hearts you will always be young, full of the love that is youth, love of life, love of joy, love of country – you fought for your country and for its safety and for the freedom of others with strength and courage. We love you for it. We honor you. And we have faith that, as He does all His sacred children, the Lord will bless you and keep you, the Lord will make His face to shine upon you and give you peace, now and forevermore.”
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. So today, as we acknowledge the faithful service of our veterans, take a moment at 11 a.m. and give thanks for those who were willing to put themselves in harm’s way to defend the freedom we enjoy.