If you asked a person on the street why Nov. 11th is important, half will say “I don’t know, sales at stores?” The other half will say, “It’s

World War II reinactors showed up to help with the 21 gun salute. (Gabe Cerritos / The Signpost)
World War II reinactors showed up to help with the 21 gun salute. (Gabe Cerritos / The Signpost)

Veterans Day”.

But where in history did Veterans Day begin to be recognized?

The Great War, World War I, officially ended on Nov. 11, 1918. To mark this momentous day, Pres. Woodrow Wilson officially declared the 11th as Armistice Day to mark the armistice signed between the Allies of WWI and Germany at Compiegne, France. The armistice meant the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front of World War I, which took effect at eleven o’clock in the morning.

After WWII and Korea, the day was renamed to Veterans Day to honor the still living soldiers who had risked everything in defense of their nation. However, many have forgotten why the day was created to begin with.

“All I want from Veterans Day is for people to appreciate sacrifice.” said Army Intelligence and Ordinance Corps Sergeant Conor O’farrell. “I feel that the reverence of a veteran’s sacrifice should humble and uplift people to want to be thankful. Sincerely, all I want is for people to be full of thanks to your family, your God and stop thinking about yourself for one day. It’s good for you to thank people on a regular basis.”

Today, Nov. 11th marks a day for retail sales or maybe a day off from school. Special deals or free meals may be offered to former or current service members, and some communities will have a parade to honor war survivors.

“You most likely wont see many vets taking advantage of all these small specials,” said retired Army Special Forces Demolition Sergeant Charles Blunt. “They appreciate the offer, and that’s all they want. As a Green Beret, we couldn’t care less what people think or do because we know no matter what happened we could get the job done, so people maintain their right to complain and argue.”

Veterans Day is often mistaken for Memorial Day, which is a day to celebrate the souls of those who died in defense of our freedom going all the way back to the Revolutionary War. The 11th is a time to appreciate still breathing warriors who may or may not have deployed.

“It means a lot to me to see people stop by and say thank you,” said Vietnam Veteran Mike Greco. “I grew up in an age where people would spit on me and call me a baby killer. Me and my brothers were treated like crap by the hippie media that over-ran Washington. It almost made me relived that my best friend Joey Turner was killed by a mortar instead of having to come home and be treated like a murderer. It wasn’t until after Dessert Storm when I went for a walk with my vet hat on that someone stopped me and thanked me for my service. That thanks meant more to me then living through that war.”

As Veterans Day has come and gone, we can still be thankful daily for the people that have gone out and sacrificed for our freedom. Some of them are missing limbs and others just miss sleeping at night, so remember to thank the service members of every branch as you see them and, more importantly, remember the price they have paid for you.

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