Wednesday, November 11, 2015
Graves: Thanks to the men and women who have served this country
By the afternoon of November 11, 1918, the cratered fields and trenches of the Western Front had fallen silent. The First World War—the war that many Americans thought would be the last—was finally over.
Over 100,000 Americans gave their lives in the Great War, and many more were wounded. In the aftermath of the Allied victory, nations around the world moved to commemorate the sacrifices made by these brave individuals.
Here in the U.S., President Woodrow Wilson declared November 11 Armistice Day. But following the Second World War, returning veterans campaigned to transform Armistice Day into Veterans Day so that we might recognize those who served in all of America’s wars. Congress agreed and in 1954, President Eisenhower signed Veterans Day into law.
As Americans, we pride ourselves knowing that the place we call home is the greatest and most prosperous nation this world has ever known. But the foundations of freedom laid by our Founding Fathers would not have endured without the sacrifices of soldiers in wars past and present.
Today, we reflect on those sacrifices from friends, neighbors, and family members. I would like to join all Americans as we thank the men and women who serve – and have served – so that America can indeed remain the greatest nation the world has ever known.