Veterans Day

On the 11th day of the 11th month at the 11th hour, the guns of World War I fell silent 99 years ago today when the Germans signed the 1918 Armistice agreeing to end hostilities between the Allies and Germany, ending bloody carnage such as the world had never seen before.

In a cramped railroad car on that drizzly day, the momentous agreement was signed at Compiègne, France. Nearly 37 million soldiers – 36,574 of them Americans – and civilians had died in the conflict.

Hostilities on the Western Front ended, but fighting went on in other regions for quite some time. “The Great War” officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed June 28, 1919, in the Palace of Versailles outside the town of Versailles, France.

Since that armistice, and despite the end of the War to End All Wars, the United States has been plagued by war, demanding the faithful service of its citizens. In World War II, Korea, Vietnam, in wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and brushfire conflicts elsewhere around the world, millions of Americans have raised their right hands, stepped up when their nation called and vowed to “support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign or domestic, that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same….”

On Veterans Day, we remember those who have served our nation, those who fought for our freedom, those who know the fear, the loneliness, the discomfort, the pain of losing so much, the sheer exhilaration of being alive. Today is the day set aside to remember their sacrifices – and they are legion.

We remember today those who signed a check made out “to the country I love,” for the amount, “everything I have, including my life.” Americans eternally are in their debt, and we also honor their families, who have borne the sometimes terrible weight of your dedication.

Words cannot begin to match our gratitude. We can only say, from our hearts, “Thank you.”

 

 

One Response to Veterans Day

  1. John London November 11, 2017 at 12:14 pm

    There is only one constant in the timeless affairs of man and that is war.

    America right or wrong, love it or leave it.

    Reply

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