On This Day…

The railroad coach in the Compiegne Forest where the Germans signed the armistice that ended World War I. In 1940, Hitler dictated that the surrender of France would take place in this same historic place, as a retribution for the humiliating defeat just twenty-two years earlier.

November 11th. On this day in 1918, the armistice signed on June 28th of the same year went into effect at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This historic event would come to be known as the end of the “war to end all wars.” Sadly, not even twenty years later, a megalomaniac from Austria would capture the imaginations of the German people to such an extent that they would embark on a rampage across the continent, triggering yet another bloody conflict. This last global struggle would become known as World War II.

President Wilson. In 1919, he declared November 11 the first celebration of “Armistice Day,” a day of tribute to the veterans of World War I.

Originally instituted in 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson as Armistice Day, this day was set aside as a tribute to the veterans of World War I. It was then approved as a legal holiday in 1938 by President Roosevelt. In 1954, Dwight D. Eisenhower issued a declaration stating that henceforth, the holiday would be known as Veterans’ Day, and was set aside to honor all veterans of all American wars.

President Eisenhower signing the document that changed the name of Armistice Day to Veterans’ Day, June 1, 1954.
Photo credit: http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp

Today, although we remember with gratitude all who have sacrificed to serve our country, this day is set aside particularly as a remembrance of, and tribute to, the living veterans who have so valiantly served their country over the years and all over the world.

While both of the Presidents who played a part in establishing this holiday have passed on, the legacy of this official day of recognition continues. It is this author’s hope that we as a nation will never forget the debt we owe to the men and women in uniform, many of whom risk their lives on a daily basis…so that we won’t don’t have to.

To all our currently serving servicemen and -women: we salute you! May the Lord continue to watch over you as you stand guard over our freedoms. May His grace continue to overshadow you and your families, and may you be granted a safe reunion with them in the near future. Thank you for the risks you take to protect our freedom. May God bless you….and I pray, may He again bless the United States of America!


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