Veterans Day is coming up Tuesday November 11. Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11, at 11:00 a.m. for a special reason. That was the day and time in 1918 that an Armistice (temporary suspension of hostilities) was signed between the allied nations and Germany in World War I.
The eleventh month, the eleventh day and the eleventh hour have reverberated down through history as the date and time America observes and celebrates when the fighting ceased. Of course the Great War, as it was called until World War II, officially ended later when the Treaty of Versailles (Ver-Si) was signed on June 28, 1919. World War I was said to be the war to end all wars but we know that it didnt turn out to be. The United States entered World War I on the side of the Allies in April of 1917.
On November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with these words: To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the countrys 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.
Included in the resolution are these words: It is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations. An act of Congress approved May 13, 1938, made the 11th of November in each year a national legal holiday a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as Armistice Day.
Armistice Day was primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I, but in 1954, after World War II had required the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nations history; after American forces had fought aggression in Korea, the 83rd Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, amended the act of 1938 by striking out the word Armistice and inserting in its place the word Veterans. Thus, November 11th became a day to honor American veterans of all wars. It is a day to honor Americas veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good.
As we celebrate this and every Veterans Day, may we be reminded of the sacrifices that have been made by our veterans to keep our country free. Some people might think that the often quoted expression Freedom isnt Free is no more than a cliché. But, that phrase is very true. Those words were true at the end of hostilities of World War I in 1918, those words were true at the end of each war that America has been involved in and they will continue to be true.
As the Veterans Wall at Ralph Stout Park attests, many Johnson County men and women served their country when called upon. They have served with commitment and sacrifice and some bear the wounds of war. Let us honor them on this day. Some gave the supreme sacrifice to keep our country free. Let us remember them with honor and gratitude. There are those who are serving today in many corners of the world. May we keep them in our thoughts and prayers.