First proclaimed as Armistice Day by Woodrow Wilson on November 11, 1918, by saying “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of 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 as 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.”
Then in 1953, an Emporia, Kansas shoe store owner named Alfred King had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who served in World War I. He began a campaign to turn Armistice Day into all Veterans Day. With the help of U.S. Representative Ed Rees, a bill for the holiday was pushed through Congress, and on May 26, 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower signed the bill into law, officially changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day.
Today, this day is to honor the more than 25 million men and women who have served and who may still serve in the military services of the United States. Not a day goes past that I don’t think about the sacrifice made by the countless people who have served in our military. For those of you that have served our country, I thank you. For those of you that have had families or friends who served our country, I thank you for the sacrifice and support that you provided to those that served.
Take a moment today to remember those that served and sacrificed for our country. Take the time to thank the next service man or woman you see in uniform for the service they have given to their country. We all cherish our freedom and without the sacrifice of these great men and women we would likely be unable to enjoy the freedom we all have today.