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Make sure you say thank you to a veteran Friday


November 8, 2016  | View PDF

Here in America — and in Lassen County — we recognize the service of our veterans each year on Veterans Day.

The day remembers the armistice that ended World War I — dubbed The Great War and The War to End All Wars — that went into effect at 11 a.m. Nov. 11 1918. The Allies and the Germans signed the ceasefire, known as the Armistice of Compiègne, in a train car in France, but the war officially ended with the Treaty of Versailles, signed seven months later on June 28, 1919.

Following a proclamation by President Woodrow Wilson in November 1919, Nov. 11 became Armistice Day. Other countries adopted the day as one of remembrance — although they gave it different names.

“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 … ” Wilson said

Armistice Day became a legal holiday in 1938, but in 1954 Nov. 11 became Veterans Day to honor the service of those who served in Korea as well as all American veterans of all wars.

President Dwight D. Eisenhower proclaimed, “In order to insure proper and widespread observance of this anniversary, all veterans, all veterans' organizations and the entire citizenry will wish to join hands in the common purpose.”

In 1968, the government tried to create four three-day holiday weekends for federal employees, and Veterans Day was celebrated on a Monday for a few years. But the change proved unpopular, and in 1975 President Gerald Ford reinstated Nov. 11 as the date for Veterans Day.

Unfortunately, World War I did not end all wars, and today, on Veterans Day, we honor all those who served our country in the armed forces of the United States.

No veterans from World War I remain. The aging World War II veterans, members of what has been called America’s Greatest Generation, have reached their most senior years including a few local veterans. America entered World War II 74 years ago in December 1941 after the attack on Pearl Harbor, and in less than four years our country and its allies defeated the German and Italian fascists and the Japanese.

In the 1950s, men and women in uniform served in Korea, a conflict many consider has been nearly forgotten. In the 1960s and early 1970s, our veterans also served in Vietnam and Southeast Asia. Many veterans of that era believe a thankful nation did not welcome them home or properly recognize their service.

And there have been other conflicts in the ensuing years, most recently in Afghanistan and Iraq. We recognize those veterans as well.

Let’s make Veterans Day special this year, and every year, by honoring the service and sacrifice of these warfighters who put themselves in harm’s way in far-off foreign lands to ensure our freedom and way of life would endure back here at home. Some of them paid the ultimate price.

A parade on Main Street in Susanville begins about 10 a.m., Friday, Nov. 11, and all Lassen County residents have an opportunity to recognize and honor the service of local veterans and those who served the cause of freedom all across this great land of ours.

We would be remiss if we didn’t thank each and every one of these veterans for their service.


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