Today is Armistice Day. What? You thought it was Veteran’s Day?
Well, it is officially, but that’s not how it began – and I think something got lost along the way. As many of you actually probably know, Armistice Day has been celebrated on this day since 1918 as the end of World War I. (At the “eleventh hour of the eleventh month” the treaty was signed.)
To my mind, Nov. 11 should remain Armistice Day and Veteran’s Day (which, in effect, becomes a celebration and thank you for living veterans) moved to another day. I feel strongly that veterans should be thanked, but it’s too easy to forget the 42 million people who fought in WWI, including more than 4 million Americans.
If you don’t think it is important to commemorate that event, think about this: When the Greatest Generation leaves us, including the more than 16 million Americans who served in World War II, they will be forgotten. Even Pearl Harbor Day is being treated as too blasé for my taste.
I know what some of you are thinking. “Are you saying we should commemorate every war we’ve been in?” That’s not what I’m saying because both world wars were different than anything else. Both re-drew the map of the entire world, involving more than 60 countries (in the case of WWII) and the more than 100 million dead from those two wars. They represent the most significant events in our world’s (and nation’s) history over the last century.
So, as we honor our veterans today, remember that this day began with the close of the bloodiest war in world history at that time. I certainly won’t forget.