“Whenever and wherever the nation has called — in times of darkness and danger as well as in times of peace and prosperity — America's veterans have been there. Veterans have proudly carried the torch of liberty for all to see.” — Gen. Colin L. Powell
Veterans Day is Monday, Nov. 11, and it’s a time to say thank you and show appreciation to those men and women of this great country who were willing to serve and protect the United States of America through their service in the military. According to the most recent statistics from the U.S. Census, there are currently around 18.2 million veterans in the U.S. They are grandparents, parents, children, the person next door, a co-worker — as diverse a group of people as one could imagine. But they share a common bond: they served in order to preserve our freedom.
Veterans Day is celebrated on Nov. 11 because it is the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I hostilities between the allied nations and Germany in 1918. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. In 1954, President Dwight Eisenhower officially changed the name of the Nov. 11 holiday from Armistice Day to Veterans Day. In 1968, the Uniform Holidays Bill was passed by Congress, which moved the celebration of Veterans Day to the fourth Monday in October. But in 1975, President Gerald Ford returned Veterans Day to Nov. 11, due to the important historical significance of the date.
During a Veterans Day address in 2003, President George W. Bush said, “We observe Veterans Day on an anniversary — not of a great battle or of the beginning of a war, but of a day when war ended and our nation was again at peace. Ever since the Armistice of November the 11th, 1918, this has been a day to remember our debt to all who have worn the uniform of the United States.”
On Veterans Day in 2015, President Barack Obama said, “Today, in big cities and small towns across our country, there will be ceremonies around flagpoles and parades down Main Street to properly express our gratitude, to show our appreciation to men and women who served so that we might live free.” Several ceremonies will be happening around Lincoln County on Monday — we encourage you to attend one of them.
And as you go about your business on this Veterans Day, take the time to ponder what the meaning of the holiday is really all about. Likely you know someone who has served, or is serving in our armed forces. Take the time to say thank you, or even better, find a way to show them what their service means to you. President John F. Kennedy put it this way, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”