Armistice Day

I don’t know what to really say about Veterans Day other than I’m extremely grateful for all of those Americans who served so that I can live in a country where I am free to do what I choose.  I’m thankful for my two grandfathers who served in WWII and the cousins and friends I have who have also served.

That’s why I decided to search for the meaning behind Veterans Day and here are the highlights.

Veterans Day began as Armistice Day on November 11, 1919 when U.S. President Woodrow Wilson wrote the following message to the American people on what the day means to them. Armistice Day was originally created to honor the Americans who died in World War I.  In 1945, World War II Veteran Robert Weeks had the idea to expand Armistice Day to include all veterans f American war.  Armistice Day did not become Veterans Day until June 1, 1954.

ADDRESS TO FELLOW-COUNTRYMEN

The White House, November 11, 1919.

“A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of inter national relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half. – With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we re modeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought. Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men. 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 nations.”

– WOODROW WILSON