Sunday, November 11, 2012

Happy Veterans / Armistice Day

Peace with Germany is signed in a railway car somewhere in the Compiègne Forest in France-- November 11, 1918.

Today is Veterans Day in the United States, which coincides with Remembrance Day or Armistice Day in many other countries. This is because it is the anniversary of the cessation of hostilities after World War I. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed it a holiday on November 11, 1919-- a year after the war ended.
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 the nations. (link)
President Wilson had good cause to reflect on peace, since he could remember the Civil War as a child (Wilson's  father had served as a chaplain for the Confederate Army) and came of age during the Reconstruction period in the American South.

After World War II, the day was expanded to honor the veterans  of all American conflicts.