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Remember Veterans Day

Posted: November 10, 2011 11:32 a.m.
Updated: November 11, 2011 5:00 a.m.

Today, Nov. 11, 2011, marks 93 years since the Armistice was signed that ended the hostilities of World War I, “the war to end all wars.” Hostilities were ceased on the 11th hour of the 11th month 93 years ago. To commemorate the Armistice and the return to peace, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11, 1919, as Armistice Day.

In proclaiming this as a holiday, President Wilson said: “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.”

Following President Wilson’s proclamation, in 1926 an act of Congress officially recognized Nov. 11 as Armistice Day and a holiday, “as a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.” Nov. 11 continued to be officially called Armistice Day until 1954 when President Eisenhower signed a bill proclaiming this date as Veterans Day, calling upon Americans to rededicate themselves to the cause of peace and to recognize the service of all veterans who have served our country, particularly those who have served in all wars throughout our country’s history.

Veterans Day is commemorated throughout our country in many different ways -- from simple ceremonies to those at Arlington National Cemetery with the rendering of honors to America’s war dead at the Tomb of the Unknowns. Today’s Veterans Day should be held special not only because our service members are still serving in conflicts to preserve our freedoms and to help bring peace throughout the world but it comes upon the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the 11th year of our 21st century, a particular time, day, month and year which will not occur for another 100 years. However one chooses to remember all of those who have served and those who continue to serve, let us pause and pray for them and for our quest for peace on the 11th hour of this Veterans Day.

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