We have seen them, the veterans that we honor during our school and public programs, and parades. We know they gave a lot for our country to remain free, whether they fought in wars or stood guard over our great nation. They do not consider themselves heroes; they will tell you the heroes are the ones who did not make it back home. But do you know why we have a special day called “Veteran’s Day”?
World War 1, or as some call it WW1 or the Great War, lasted from July 28, 1914, to November 11, 1918. This “war to end all wars” began when a Bosnian Serb, Gavrilo Princip, assassinated the Austro-Hungarian heir, Archduke Franz Ferdinand. It soon escalated because both countries had allies that felt there should either be restitution or that the assassination was justified.
France, Russia, Japan, Italy, Greece, Britain, and the United States were allies against Germany, Austria-Hungary, Ottoman Empire, and China (although China did not send troops). During 1918, leading to the end of the war, all countries signed an armistice treaty with Germany signing on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.
In 1926, the Congress of the United States officially recognized the end of WW1 and declared that the anniversary of the armistice be commemorated with prayer and thanksgiving. They also requested that the president issue a proclamation that the flag be displayed on all government buildings and that ceremonies be held in suitable places for friendly relations with all other people.
In 1954, Armistice’s Day was changed to Veteran’s Day because, unfortunately, “The War to End All Wars” did not hold true.
Please take a moment and thank a veteran each time you see them or a service person that is in uniform. They give up a lot for the people of the United States of America. They stand in the gap and watch over us night and day, in hostile and peace-loving areas of the world. They are our hope and the reason we still enjoy freedoms in our country.
As the saying goes, Freedom is not Free.