November 11, 2009 Ninety-one years have gone by since the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month that a weary Germany signed the armistice agreement and put an end to four years of mass destruction known as World War I.
Such a significant event was forever memorialized when President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "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…"
Ninety-one years later and we're still struggling to achieve those goals. After the end of the "war to end all wars," years passed and more American lives were lost to war. In 1954, Congress changed Armistice Day to Veterans Day, a time to honor those who have demonstrated their patriotism, love of country and willingness to sacrifice their all for both causes.
While we observe the national holiday, we hope area residents will take a moment to thank a veteran, call a family member of an active serviceman or woman, send cards to veterans hospitals or overseas, or contribute to the local efforts to make sure our soldiers are cared for and not forgotten.
We appreciate the commitment, courage and struggles of those who have served in the past and of those who continue to serve today. May we all one day safely celebrate the end of all wars.