A crisp salute

Published 7:53 pm Monday, November 10, 2014

On Nov. 11, 1918, seven months before the Treaty of Versailles, the fighting of World War I had ceased with an armistice on the 11th hour. And because WWI was generally regarded as “the war to end all wars,” on the 11th day of November every year, we have Veterans Day, as the occasion was later named to also honor veterans of World War II and beyond.

It is a day in which all veterans and the entire citizenry are to join hands for a common purpose. As President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed in 1919 in regard to Armistice Day, as it was first called:

“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…”

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Today, regardless of the day on which Nov. 11 falls, Veterans Day continues to be observed. This is significant as it preserves the importance of the date, and it also helps Americans focus on why it matters: It’s a commemoration of America’s veterans for their patriotism, love for our country and their willingness to serve and sacrifice — perhaps everything — for the common good.

On this Veterans Day, we offer a crisp salute to those who have been willing to make that sacrifice, to their families and to the flag they honored.