November 11th is the day set aside in the United States to honor the men and women who have served in the armed forces. Ceremonies are held in all sorts of places, from high school auditoriums to war memorials, to encourage people to pause and reflect on the courage, danger, and hardship endured by their countrymen on their behalf.
U.S. General “Black Jack” Pershing famously remarked of the U.S. soldiers that “time will not dim the glory of their deeds.”
To our veterans: Thank you.
Veterans Day proper comes from the First World War. On November 11th, 1918, at 11:00 AM, a truce was signed between the forces of the Entente and those of the Central Powers- the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Armistice Day.
Shortly after the Second World War, the United States declared a change from Armistice Day to All Veterans Day, later shortened to Veterans Day, in order to acknowledge the participants in all of the nation’s conflicts.
It’s celebrated differently in different countries. For example, in the United Kingdom the day is called Remembrance Day, and is celebrated by laying wreaths of flowers on war memorials and wearing poppies, a flower that was found growing on the battlefields of France and Belgium during the living hell of trench warfare.
The nations of the Commonwealth that participated in the First World War alongside the UK, like Canada, South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand, traditionally observe a two-minute silence at 11:00 AM.
But let’s get back to our service members here in the United States.
This year, consider expressing your appreciation for the men and women who serve our nation by dedicating their lives to the cause of freedom. Contribute to a veteran’s organization or buy a service member’s dinner, and take the opportunity to thank them for their service.