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On Veterans Day, Americans Give Thanks To All Who Have Served

by Shawn M. Griffiths, published
November is considered a month to give thanks and there are plenty of people who will list one thing they are thankful for every day during the 30 days of November. Today, there will be plenty of people who will likely list the same thing as the country observes a national holiday to express gratitude to the men and women who have served in all branches of the US armed forces.

Veterans Day, also known as Armistice Day, is dedicated to every single man and woman who has put on the uniform and were willing to sacrifice everything in the service of the United States. These are individuals who didn’t just put their lives on the line, but were willing to put country before all else. These are men and women who gave their time, energy, sweat, and blood to defend this country and everything Americans cherish every day.

On the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918, an armistice, or temporary cease fire, was declared between Allied nations and Germany. It is considered by many to be the true end of World War I even though the Treaty of Versailles -- the official end of the war -- was signed on June 28 the following year. The "Great War" left 9 million soldiers dead, 21 million wounded, and cost the lives of over 5 million civilians who died of disease, starvation, and exposure.

In 1954, however, Congress amended the act that made November 11 a national holiday, and replaced Armistice Day with Veterans Day. This followed World War II, which saw the greatest mobilization of armed service personnel in American history, and the Korean War, which called to action 5.7 million more

Veterans Day is marked by parades and other celebrations across the US. There is also an official wreath-laying ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns, or Tomb of the Unknown Soldier as it is more commonly called. On every Veterans Day, the President of the United States will lay a wreath at the monument dedicated to fallen soldiers whose remains were never identified.

Americans give thanks to all veterans of all wars, living or dead, on November 11. These are men and women who deserve to be honored for their service and their sacrifices. These are the brave and the selfless. At the very least, those who have come before, those who are currently serving today, and those who will serve in the future will always deserve our eternal gratitude for their service.

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