According to the Office of Public Affairs, President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day in November 1919 with the following words:
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…
This was the beginning of what we now call Veteran’s Day, the day we stop to thank our veterans of the military for their service to our country.
How do you properly thank a veteran? Tell them thanks to their faces. Shake their hands. Listen to their stories. Acknowledge their sacrifices and the sacrifices of their families. Be a friend.
Better than a decade ago, I wrote The Victory Club, a story set on the home front during WWII. It was my effort to say thank you to those in the military and their families. It remains a story that I care about deeply.
So once again, thank you, Veterans. I pray that you will feel honored throughout this day and throughout the year to come.