Exactly 90 years ago, major hostilities between the Allied forces of World War I and Germany were brought to an end with the signing of an armistice, effectively marking the end of the bloodiest conflict in modern human history.
Four generations of American soldiers have flown the stars and stripes since this day in 1918 (formerly known as Armistice Day) and every one of them is equally worthy of our respect.
The soldiers of the 442nd Regimental Combat Team and the famed Tuskegee Airmen in World War II overcame racial barriers to defend their home. The unsung heroes of the Korean War, the veterans of Vietnam and the camo-clad men and women stationed abroad and participating in the conflicts in Iraq and Afghanistan all share a common bond of having fought for the pride of our country.
We each know our share of men and women who have served our great nation — be they your parents, brother or sister or the gentleman down the street, they lived the stories you read about in history class.
Whether Army, Marines, Air Force, Navy or Coast Guard, the men and women in uniform have taken an oath to defend our home, and regardless of politics and disagreements, should be thanked for it.
In the 1954 proclamation to rename Armistice Day, President Eisenhower reminded us what Veterans Day is for:
“In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans’ organizations and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”