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To Our Veterans
November 5, 2018
Veterans Day is November 11, and we’re thankful for the chance to remember and honor our veterans, young and old. While Memorial Day is a holiday dedicated specifically to veterans who died during their service, and Armed Forces Day is a chance for citizens to thank our current military members, Veterans Day is an opportunity for Americans to pay tribute to all service men and women, living or dead.
Veterans Day began as Armistice Day following World War I, a war that officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, fighting had ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. For that reason, November 11, 1918, is generally regarded as the actual end of the war and a day to be remembered.
On the first commemoration of Armistice Day, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed, “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 World War I was then regarded as “the war to end all wars,” sadly, our nation has witnessed and experienced quite a number of military conflicts since then. Decades later in 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day Proclamation, making November 11 a day to honor American veterans of all wars. Our debt of gratitude to our veterans has only grown through the years as more of our service members have put their lives on the line, or given their lives, for our country.
This Veterans Day, please take a moment to thank the veterans you know, and continue to pray for those who are in active duty and the families of those who have sacrificed so much for our freedom.
U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs
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