This Friday, November 11, marks the annual observance of Veterans Day. The holiday originated as Armistice Day in 1919 to mark the first anniversary of the end of World War I, which formally was concluded on the 11th hour, of the 11th day, of the 11th month in 1918.
The first world war was referred to at the time as “the war to end all wars.” It was thought that never again would mankind engage in the sort of madness that resulted in the near-total destruction of so much of the world and the loss of millions of lives for reasons not entirely clear to anybody either before, during, or since.
Needless to say, history has shown us that such thinking was idealistically foolhardy. Just 21 years later, the world again became enmeshed in a global conflict that made the first time around seem like a mere practice run for mass annihilation.
And even after that epic second world war, America has been involved in countless bloody conflicts in the 71 years since General Douglas MacArthur accepted the Japanese surrender on the Battleship Missouri.
Armistice Day officially became known as Veteran’s Day in 1954 to include those who served in WWII and the Korean War, and subsequently in the years thereafter to the present time, to express our nation’s appreciation for the men and women who bravely have answered the call of duty to ensure that the freedoms we enjoy as Americans have been strengthened and maintained against the many challenges we have faced.
Although Veteran’s Day, as with all of our other national holidays, unfortunately has become commercialized, we urge our readers to take a moment, even if just quietly by ourselves, to contemplate what we owe the veterans of all of our wars and to be grateful to them for allowing us to live freely in the greatest nation on earth.