On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, the fighting of World War I ended in 1918. Due to the conclusion of the “War to end all Wars,” November 11 became a universally recognized day of celebration.  

The date was originally declared “Armistice Day” eight years after the end of WW I and honored only Veterans of the that war. Then in 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, it was renamed “Veterans Day” to honor all Veterans who served America in War and defended democracy. 

So, on November 11, we honor all our Veterans who unselfishly placed their lives on the line for our freedom.  

Just who is a Veteran? A Veteran – whether active duty, retired, national guard or reserve – is someone who wrote a blank check made payable to “The United States of America”, for the amount of up to and including their life. We should recognize that all our Veterans have given something of themselves to this country and some have given all, laying down their lives to defend the freedoms we hold so dear.

It is important to remember that Veterans are defending us 365 days a year. The heroism that has been demonstrated time and again by Veterans, from the American Revolution to the Global War on Terrorism, is sometimes unnoticed by those of us who enjoy the security that their sacrifice has provided. Our debt to these heroes can never be repaid but our gratitude and respect must last forever.  

Fewer than 10 percent of American can claim the title “Veteran.” Far less than 1 percent of our population is currently defending us in Global War of Terrorism. Veterans have given us freedom, security and the greatest nation on earth. As we honor our Veterans, and remember their great deeds, let us also salute those who are currently fighting for our freedom.  

The defense of freedom is just not for those in the military; each of us share that duty and that responsibility. We can protect our freedom simply by maintaining it here in America. Veterans Day isn’t just a day for Veterans, it’s a day for Americans. It’s a day to remember why they were fighting and a day for all of us to begin our journey of protecting our freedom and the freedom of many future generations.  

Thank you for honoring our Veterans on Veterans Day and let us walk toward the next day still honoring them by living in the freedom they protected.