By Nicole King
In 1919, President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11th as “Armistice Day” to commemorate those who served our country in World War I and celebrate it’s official end. As a celebration, people gathered in their communities and threw parades while those in schools or work buildings had a moment of silence to honor those who fought. Two years later, an unidentified soldier from the war was buried at the Arlington National Cemetery in Arlington County, Virginia. This 1,100 acre plantation now stands as a memorial where thousands of soldiers are honored. In 1954, Wilson declared November 11th, the day known as “Armistice Day” to be renamed “Veterans Day” to show respects to not only those in World War I, but all wars.
From fighting barbary wars (a series of wars fought at same time over the same conflicts) to taking down Osama Bin Laden, our veterans have accomplished what some once thought was impossible. These honorable men and women have dedicated their lives to defending our nation no matter how dangerous the battlefields may be. Their bravery and compassion earns them the right to not only be referred to as people, but as heroes. They leave behind their friends and family to endure months of arduous training followed by years of risking their lives in a war that has the possibility to take their life. All soldiers know that when they enter a war, there is a chance they might not return or return with substantial physical and mental setbacks. Thankfully, our country is fortunate enough to have 6.5% of it’s population willing to risk these outcomes to keep everyone safe and secure in their communities.
On November 11, 2017, Americans will be celebrating the 64th year of Veterans Day by hosting a wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington National Cemetery. Following this ceremony will be a program hosted by the Department of Veterans Affairs (a group designated to provide beneficial services to those that served). These events are just a few of the ways those in the community can honor these heroes for all they have done. On this day, everyone should take a brief moment to pay their respects and be thankful for all the brave men and women have accomplished for our country.