Make sure you say thank you to a veteran this Saturday. We recognize and honor the service of our veterans on Veterans Day, Saturday Nov. 11 this year.
The day recalls the armistice that ended World War I — dubbed The Great War and The War to End All Wars — that went into effect at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 1918. The Allies and the Germans signed the ceasefire, known as the Armistice of Compiègne, in a train car in France, but the war officially ended with the Treaty of Versailles, signed seven months later on June 28, 1919.
Following a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1919, Nov. 11 became Armistice Day.
“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 … ” Wilson said
Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1938, but in 1954 Nov. 11 became Veterans Day to honor the service of those who served in Korea as well as all American veterans of all wars.
President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed, “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”
In 1968, the government tried to create four three-day holiday weekends for federal employees, and Veterans Day was celebrated on a Monday for a few years. But the change proved unpopular, and in 1975 President Gerald Ford reinstated Nov. 11 as the date for Veterans Day.
Unfortunately, World War I did not end all wars, and today, on Veterans Day, we honor all those who served our country in the armed forces of the United States.
No veterans from World War I remain. The aging World War II veterans, members of what has been called America’s Greatest Generation, have reached their most senior years. America entered World War II 75 years ago in December 1941 after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor.
From the 1950s until today, men and women in uniform have served in Korea, and some fought in a conflict many consider has been nearly forgotten. In the 1960s and early 1970s, our veterans also served in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Many veterans of that era believe a thankful nation did not welcome them home or properly recognize their service. And there have been other conflicts all around the world — and in Afghanistan and Iraq.
Let’s make this Veterans Day special by honoring the service and sacrifice of the veterans who served to ensure our freedom and our way of life would endure. Let’s not forget some of them paid the ultimate price.
A parade on Main Street in Susanville begins about 10 a.m., Saturday, Nov. 11, and all Lassen County residents have an opportunity to recognize and honor the service of our local veterans who served the great cause of freedom.
Here’s a heartfelt thank you to each and every one of you for your service to our nation and your sacrifice to further the cause of freedom.