The year was 1918. The location was the Palace of Versailles just outside of Versailles, France.
It was the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month and the world was forever changed. The first world war had ended.
The following year, President Woodrow Wilson would recognize this day as the first commemoration of Armistice Day and would later to be called what we now refer to as Veterans Day.
Wilson recognized the event with these words: “To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”
It is difficult to speak as eloquently as President Wilson, but we are just as grateful.
War is not new to the United States. This is a nation forged through revolution and since its infancy, there have been challenges and contests to its independence. From the Northwest Indian War (1785-1793) against Great Britain to the most recent conflicts in Afghanistan.
War is also an unfortunate reality, and one that cannot be allowed to be forgotten. From the smallest battlefield to the largest global arena, there are those who have put our freedom ahead of their own safety.
That is why Veterans Day is such an incredibly important day for America. It is a day to honor those who have sacrificed, those who are still sacrificing, and those that have paid the ultimate price. It is a day to reflect on the debt that all Americans hold that can never be repaid in any measurable amount.
For this veterans, please accept our thanks. You are the lifeblood of this nation. You are the reason the word “patriot” exists. You are the reason we stand undivided. Without you as the backbone of America, we would crumble.
For most Americans, you are in our hearts, thoughts, and prayers on this day and every day.
We hope Scotland County residents take the time to attend one of the many Veterans Day events throughout the county and reflect on where we would be without the sacrifices, large and small, these men and women have made.
Though it doesn’t amount to enough, we would like to thank you for all that you have done.