It occurred during the 11th hour or the 11th day of the 11th month, 93 years ago Friday. The armistice signing brought to a close the deadliest conflict the world had collectively known up to at that time. It was called the war to end all wars.
Even though that idealistic tag to World War I would be short-lived, for the United States it offered a starting point of recognition to those that ironically enter into battle so others might live in peace.
Armistice Day was established by President Woodrow Wilson’s decree on Nov. 11, 1919. Congress made it a legal holiday on May 13, 1938, as a day “dedicated to the cause of world peace.” The act that proclaimed Armiciste Day was amended on June 1, 1954, to become known as Veteran’s Day and pay tribute to those that served in a military capacity both before and after the war of its origin.
We believe it important to observe Veteran’s Day and keep in mind its impact beyond the battlefield. Regardless of wars that had strong public support, definite public opposition, or became an afterthought as they progressed longer than the attention span society is able to muster, those who serve make a difference.
According to the U.S. Census Bureau, 21.8 million veterans were living in the United States during 2010. That number ranges from those that served during World War II, through Korea, Vietnam, both Gulf Wars, covert as well as overt military actions and current missions in Afghanistan and other locations around the globe.
Nearly as many veterans, by percentage, hold bachelors degrees as the total number of college-educated Americans. Veteran-owned businesses comprise approximately 2.4 million of 27.1 million businesses nationwide, and 8 percent of veteran-owned businesses are led by individuals disabled as the result of injury during aggravated military action.
Not all veterans engaged in combat during their years with the armed forces. Many are responsible for the development of goods now commonly used among the general population including: cell phones and the Internet, various medical procedures and treatments, and modes of travel.
We believe it appropriate for every American to take 11 minutes, during the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month to offer a thought, prayer or call to a veteran and express gratitude for that person.