“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget
that the highest appreciation is not to utter words,
but to live by them.”
John F. Kennedy
Today, November 11th is Veterans Day. It was originally set as a U.S. legal holiday to honor Armistice Day – the end of World War I, which officially took place on November 11, 1918.
President Woodrow Wilson honored 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.”
In 1954, Congress, at the urging of the veterans service organizations, struck out the word “Armistice” and inserted the word “Veterans.” With the approval of this legislation on June 1, 1954, November 11 became a day to honor American veterans of all wars.
Veterans Day may be officially celebrated once a year to thank our American veterans for their patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. But, I like to believe that we should celebrate daily in honoring our veterans.