Tomorrow is Veterans Day. We encourage our readers to set aside time to reflect on the sacrifice of our Patriot veterans and honor them accordingly.
On November 11th, 1921, an unknown American soldier from World War I was buried in Arlington National Cemetery, in recognition of WWI veterans and in conjunction with the timing of cessation of hostilities at 11 a.m., November 11, 1918 (the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month). President Warren Harding requested that: "All...citizens...indulge in a period of silent thanks to God for these... valorous lives and of supplication for His Divine mercy...on our beloved country." Inscribed on the Tomb are the words: "Here lies in honored glory an American soldier know but to God." The day became known as "Armistice Day." In 1954, Congress, wanting to recognize the sacrifice of veterans since WWI, proposed to change Armistice Day to Veterans Day in their honor. President Dwight D. Eisenhower, former Supreme Commander in WWII, signed the legislation.
To honor those veterans who sacrificed all, an Army honor guard from the 3d U.S. Infantry (The Old Guard) keeps day and night vigil at Arlington. At 11 a.m. tomorrow, a combined color guard representing all military service branches executes "Present Arms" at the tomb for the laying of a wreath by the president. This is followed by "Taps."
The Defense Department has totaled one measure of the price of liberty -- almost 1.2 million members of our fighting forces have died while in service to our country since the American Revolution; 1.4 million have been wounded. The numbers, of course, offer no reckoning of the inestimable value of these individual citizens' lives, and the sacrifices borne by their families. But we do know their sacrifices defended a precious gift handed down to us -- the liberties we cherish. Every day -- but today especially -- let us always hold our veterans and their families in our hearts.
On this commemoration of Veterans Day, we encourage parents and teachers to visit the official Veterans Affairs website for instruction and learning aids on the history and significance of Veterans Day. Link to -- http://www.appc1.va.gov/vetsday/