Veterans Day or Armistice Day? A Very Special Day Whatever Label
It’s a good day to proudly hang the flag outside your home, but maybe Veterans Day is also a good day for citizens to consider far more carefully the policies made and the prices paid for sending valiant men and women into harm’s way
Veteran’s Day was founded because Nov 11 is the day in 1918 that World War One ended. It’s been 98 years since the guns stopped firing on the morning that ended World War I, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. Germany, having exhausted manpower and supplies and faced with imminent invasion, signed an armistice agreement with the Allies in a railroad car outside Compiègne, France. The following year, Armistice Day was declared a national day of mourning by President WOODROW WILSON.
In Europe, Nov 11, is still remembered as Armistice Day. Here in the United States, we changed the name to Veterans Day in 1954.
The First World War left nine million soldiers dead and 21 million wounded between Germany, Russia, Austria-Hungary, France, Great Britain and the United States. each In addition, at least five million civilians died from disease, starvation. It was supposed to be the “war to end all wars.” If they only knew then …
The renaming of the day is symbolic given how differently the day is commemorated on each side of the Atlantic. Here, we celebrate survivors of all the nation’s 20th and 21st century wars — all veterans of all wars and their families.
In France and Britain, the mood is altogether more somber. There, it is the dead who have been the focus of the ceremonies.
Because we’ve never had to defend our own soil, and because that first World War saw losses of perhaps three million men in France, England and Germany, it’s probably safe to say the psychological impact of the war has never left Europe and it might explain the pacifism or at least the aversion to war that exists on that continent.
May God Bless, Keep and Guide the United States of America.