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Another armistice this Veterans Day

November 10, 2018

The day we commemorate today — Veterans Day — grew out of Armistice Day, a remembrance of those who served in World War I, the “war to end all wars.”

Those veterans have passed away, but 100 years later, there are still Americans who have bravely stepped forward to answer their nation’s call, whether they served in combat — in declared or undeclared wars — or not. They served. Think about that. In an all-volunteer-force scenario, there remain Americans who place duty and service to country beyond their own needs.

Today, we thank all veterans.

Veterans Day 2018 marks the 100th anniversary of the WWI armistice, which occurred on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month — Nov. 11, 1918.

Yes, WWI officially ended with the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, marking the official end of fighting between the Allies — including the United States — and the Central Powers, led by Germany. But the actual cessation of hostilities occurred months before.

The first commemoration of an “Armistice Day” occurred with a proclamation on Nov. 11, 1919 by President Woodrow Wilson.

He said, “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 things 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 … .” This later morphed into Veterans Day.

Pride. Heroism. Gratitude. Peace. Justice. They were words that fit then as they fit now for the nation’s veterans — Air Force, Army, Navy, Marines and Coast Guard.

One hundred years after that first armistice, we have just emerged from a bruising election in which the unity part of the United States our veterans fought for has been sorely tested — and remains tested.

So, here’s an idea. Let us declare another armistice. Today, let us resolve that we are not, most importantly, Democrats, Republicans, Independents, Trumpists, Never-Trumpers or pro this and anti-that. Today, let us be, most importantly, just Americans worthy of the sacrifices our veterans have made.

Want to thank a veteran today? We’ve got a suspicion that the nation’s veterans would appreciate an expression of unity, signifying we are all Americans, welcoming of those among us who are from elsewhere and accepting of those with whom we disagree.

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