As most of us enjoy a day off work to observe Veterans Day, it is important to take a moment to reflect about the reason why today is a national holiday. I encourage everyone reading this to take a moment to do something good for a veteran in your life, and at the end of this post there is a suggestion about how you can help.
Why do we observe Veterans Day on November 11?
It is no coincidence that Veterans Day is observed on November 11th each year. At 5:00 a.m. on November 11, 1918, an armistice was signed between the Allies and German Empire ending combat between the two forces with an effective time of eleven o’clock that day–the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. All other members of the Central Powers had agreed to separate armistices in the month prior (Bulgaria on September 29, Ottoman Empire on October 30, and Austro-Hungarian Empire on November 3), so the Armistice of November 11, 1918 was the true end of combat in World War I.
We began observing Armistice Day on November 11, 1919 as a sign of respect for the roughly 20 million people who died in World War I, and converted that holiday to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all military veterans of the United States.
What should you do this Veterans Day?
I encourage you to do two brief things to honor or veterans today. First, observe a moment of silence and think about the sacrifices made by our military veterans to preserve our nation. Say a quick prayer asking for an end to war and suffering. Say a prayer to give thanks for the sacrifices made by our veterans.
Second, take a look at the brochure I have attached below which outlines the services provided by the McHenry County Veterans Assistance Commission. If you know a veteran or a veteran’s widow in need (financial assistance, medical assistance, application for military benefits), get that person in contact with the VAC. A surprising number of veterans in the area are unaware of the VAC and the services it provides to veterans and their widows at no cost. You can make an incredible difference in the life of a veteran or veteran’s widow just by making a couple of phone calls.
God bless America, and thanks for your time.