Veterans Day: A Celebration of Service
It is almost a century since the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918 when World War I ended.
The United States had entered the war late in the fighting, but America proved decisive in ending what was then called the war to end all wars.
For years it was called Armistice Day to mark the end of World War I. Eventually November 11 became Veterans Day and now honors the millions of men and women who served in World War II, Korea, Vietnam, Iraq, Afghanistan, and all the sometimes forgotten conflicts around the world.
Today there are 25 million veterans of the Army, Marines, Navy, Air Force, and Coast Guard. They represent service rendered over decades in Normandy, Guadalcanal, Inchon, Khe Sanh, Baghdad, Kabul, and a thousand other places that never made the headlines.
Of all the responsibilities of our communities and government, none is greater than the obligation to honor every American who has served and continues to serve the nation. Military service is a selfless act. Those who served in the past and serve today deserve more than one day of national tribute.
But we can all pause today to honor and celebrate their service and reassure them that we will fulfill our commitments to each of them and their families. We owe them nothing less.