This Monday, November 11, we will join with our fellow Americans in observing Veteran’s Day, a day set aside to honor the sacrifices made by all of those who have served in our nation’s armed forces.
Veteran’s Day originated as a commemoration of the end of World War I, which officially ended on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month of 1918. The first world war was marked by an unprecedented slaughter of soldiers, a war in which the generals used 19th century battlefield techniques to send their men headlong into enemies equipped with 20th century weaponry. Gas warfare, tanks, and aerial bombing all had their birth in World War I.
It was declared at its conclusion to be the “war to end all wars,” because those who lived through it believed that never again would the world’s powers be so foolhardy as to engage in the utter destruction and vast loss of life that had become the hallmark of modern warfare.
However, as we all know, that dream turned into the nightmare of the past 95 years, a century of unparalleled bloodshed in the annals of human history. For that reason, Veteran’s Day serves as a day to honor the veterans of all our wars of the past 100 years.
Veteran’s Day always has struck us, in comparison to the hoopla and atmosphere of Memorial Day weekend, as the equivalent of Thanksgiving to Christmas. It is a day in which we pause to quietly pay homage to the men and women who have made immense sacrifices to preserve our freedom, and who still are doing so around the world today.
So on this Veteran’s Day, thank the veterans whom you know for their service to our country. Their efforts on our behalf are why we are here today.