Remember to thank a vet

It all began on Nov. 11, 1918 and was originally known as Armistice Day. At 11 a.m. on the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 the armistice ending World War I was signed. The day later became a holiday to not only celebrate the end of World War I– then known as the war to end all wars — but also to remember deceased veterans and honor the living for their sacrifices in service to our nation.

Sadly, the war to end all wars was not the last for the United States, or for the rest of the world. Americans have been involved in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, Afghanistan and Iraq since that Armistice Day long ago.

Armistice Day officially became a holiday in the United States in 1926, and a national holiday 12 years later.

On June 1, 1954, the name was changed to Veterans Day to honor all U.S. veterans.

In recent years the holiday has gained new momentum as Americans have scrambled to laud our World War II veterans, who are passing away at the rate of 1,100 per day. According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, the number of Korean and Vietnam veterans dying is also increasing which brings us to an average of 1,900 veterans dying each day.

We must also remember the more than 4,500 servicemen and women who have died in Iraq and more than 2,200 who have lost their lives in Afghanistan.

In recent years we have been impressed with the number of organizations and schools holding events to honor our vets. This year is no different. Yesterday, nearly every school in Columbiana County hosted breakfasts or assemblies to mark the day.

Events honoring veterans today include a dinner at the American Legion in Columbiana, a luncheon at Christ the King Anglican Church in Columbiana, a service at the Middleton Township Veterans Memorial, a dinner at the Salineville American Legion and a parade in front of East Liverpool City Hall. Check our Veterans Day program list in today’s Morning Journal for a complete list and times.

As we pause today, which is the official Veterans Day, to honor those who served to ensure the freedoms we Americans hold so dear, let us also pay tribute to those who continue to endanger their lives on our behalf around the world.

Let’s pray that soon there will be an end to all wars.

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