11th Hour 11th Day 11th Month: At the going down of the sun and in the morning, we will remember them. Remembering all who served freedom.
The Gift of Peace
History is full of wars of conquest. Sacrificing for the freedom of others and defending peace is a rarer gift. We’re thankful for our Veterans.
Remembrance. Armistice. Veterans Day. The English-speaking allies of the United Kingdom, the Commonwealth, and the United States remember the sacrifice of WWI. And commemorate the service of our veterans defending freedom on November 11th. With special resonance on the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. The time and day of the Armistice ending the conflagration of the Great War. Now because of subsequent trials called World War I.
Thanking the 3%
November 11th is now Veterans Day in America. We honor and thank all veterans who serve and served the cause of freedom. Now with a smaller, all-volunteer military? The share of living Americans that served at some point in their lives is falling. Especially as the Greatest Generation veterans of WWII fade to memory. Most of us enjoy the products of the service and sacrifice of the few. We thank the three percent that took the oath of service. Only about half of one percent are currently serving. It’s a reminder of how much we ask the few to bear for the security of the many.
Tradition of Service
Our own families have a record of service. Lori’s grandfather was WWII Army. Lori’s father and brother served in the Air Force.
A niece is an Army Captain. Dan’s father was Army Air Corps and then Air Force Reserve.
A great Uncle was a West Point graduate on General Black Jack Pershing’s staff in the American Expeditionary Force in France. His sister, Dan’s maternal grandmother, was an Army Nurse in France. And married an English officer of the Gloucestershire Regiment who was wounded at the Somme. Dan’s grandfather.
Family and friends served. Not all returned. Dan can’t see a Navy Vigilante without remembering the loss of a family friend on a Vietnam War air mission.
The holiday traces its origins back to the end of World War I. On Nov. 11, 1918, an armistice between the U.S.-led Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11thmonth. Though the war wasn’t officially over until the Treaty of Versailles was signed seven months later, the Nov. 11 is recognized as the end of the “war to end all wars,” according to the Veterans Administration.
In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of what was then known as Armistice Day, saying “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…” — Veterans Day 2017: Why is Veterans Day on Nov. 11? Holiday history, military facts and more