It all began on Nov. 11, 1918 and was originally known as Armistice Day. It was the celebration of the end of World War I, the war to end all wars.
Sadly, the war to end all wars was not the last for the United States. 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.
As we prepare to mark this holiday on Wednesday, we are saddened by Thursday's tragic shooting spree at the Fort Hood Army base in Texas that took the lives of 12 soldiers as well as one civilian, and wounded 30 others.
It is estimated that 1,800 U.S. military veterans die each day, with World War II vets passing at a rate of more than 1,200 per day.
In recent years we have been impressed with the number of organizations and schools holding events to honor our vets.
Among the Columbiana County schools planning to honor local veterans Wednesday are Columbiana, United Local, Leetonia, East Palestine, Crestview and East Liverpool. Robert Bycroft will honor vets on Tuesday and Lisbon's McKinley Elementary will honor them with a breakfast on Friday. Several communities also have parades and ceremonies planned.
On Wednesday, as we honor those who fought to ensure the freedoms we Americans hold so dear, let us also pay tribute to those who are endangering their lives in this country's latest battles in Afghanistan and Iraq. And, observe a moment of silence at 11:11 a.m. on Nov. 11 to honor all veterans and thank each vet you know personally for fighting to preserve our way of life in the greatest country on Earth.