Newell: To America's veterans - we can't say thank you enough

Newell Normand
November 11, 2019 - 2:46 pm

Today, we are honored to celebrate Veterans Day. Every year on November 11, we honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. This day was originally referred to as “Armistice Day,” which marked the end of the first World War, at the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918.

One year later, on November 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson addressed the country on the first Armistice Day and said the following:

“A year ago today our enemies laid down their arms in accordance with an armistice which rendered them impotent to renew hostilities, and gave to the world an assured opportunity to reconstruct its shattered order and to work out in peace a new and juster set of international relations. The soldiers and people of the European Allies had fought and endured for more than four years to uphold the barrier of civilization against the aggressions of armed force. We ourselves had been in the conflict something more than a year and a half. 

With splendid forgetfulness of mere personal concerns, we remodeled our industries, concentrated our financial resources, increased our agricultural output, and assembled a great army, so that at the last our power was a decisive factor in the victory. We were able to bring the vast resources, material and moral, of a great and free people to the assistance of our associates in Europe who had suffered and sacrificed without limit in the cause for which we fought. 

Out of this victory there arose new possibilities of political freedom and economic concert. The war showed us the strength of great nations acting together for high purposes, and the victory of arms foretells the enduring conquests which can be made in peace when nations act justly and in furtherance of the common interests of men. 

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 nations.”

In 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed a bill replacing “Armistice” with “Veterans” and expanding the celebration to honor all veterans, where previously the day was set aside specifically for veterans of WWI.

We celebrate and thank our veterans today, but the truth is, we really can’t thank them enough.

George Washington had this to say about those who serve, and the way we venerate them at home:

“The willingness with which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.”

John F. Kennedy contributed this:

“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.”

With those words in mind, we remember - Veterans Day represents the pinnacle of our appreciation for our veterans’ patriotism, love of country, and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good. But please know - we love you and we appreciate you each and every day!

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