Our View: ‘Thank you’ to veterans

Published 10:10 am Friday, November 9, 2018

This weekend the country will pause to honor some of our nation’s bravest and most selfless individuals.

Sunday marks Veterans Day, which, according to the U.S. Department of Defense, “honors all those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive. Although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.”

Each year, our community recognizes Veterans Day with multiple programs at local schools, programs at the Generations Center, free or discounted meals at various local restaurants and communitywide service.

This year, Veterans Day is particularly special because it also marks the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I. This event was what started Veterans Day in the first place.

Veterans Day was initially called Armistice Day and commemorated the end of WWI.

The war officially ended June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles, “but the fighting ended about seven months before that when the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month,” according to the DOD.

Nov. 11, 1918, was widely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as the end of the war, and in 1938, it became an official holiday, primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.

After World War II and the Korean War, Congress amended the commemoration yet again by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so the day would honor American veterans of all wars.

And the tradition continues.

While we believe we should honor our veterans each day, they are worth setting aside one day a year to give special recognition to the enormous sacrifices they made for our nation.

So many rights and freedoms often take for granted by many Americans were secured and protected by the blood, sweat, tears and sometimes the lives of these brave men and women.

This weekend, and always, we salute them and offer our deepest gratitude to them.

We also want to recognize the families who supported them, encouraged them and in some case, lost them, in the pursuit of protecting our freedom, safety and security. We owe a debt to you as well.

No words will ever be enough to express how grateful we are, so we will say, “Thank you, from the bottom of our hearts.”

This Veterans Day, take a moment to thank a veteran. Shake their hand, offer them a meal, send them a card — whatever you have to do to show some gratitude to those who have sacrificed so much.