Include the next generation in Veterans Day

This Monday, Nov. 11, is Veterans Day — a day set aside to recognize and honor those who served this great nation, past and present, in times of both war and peace.

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, an armistice, or temporary suspension of fighting, was declared between the Allied nations and Germany in the First World War.

Observed as Armistice Day beginning the following year, and Nov. 11 became a legal federal holiday in the United States in 1938.

Following the unprecedented mobilization of troops during World War II and then the Korean War, Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day, dedicated to all American veterans — living or dead — who served this country.

With more than 21 million American veterans — nearly 15 percent of the population — most of us have a close relationship with someone who has served. Some have family members, spouses, children or parents who are or once were in the military. Still others holding this newspaper have served themselves.

We want to take this opportunity to wholeheartedly thank these individuals for their selflessness, courage and dedication to our homeland.

You are all heroes.

But those words really don’t go far enough.

To truly show our gratitude, we should all take the time to attend a Veterans Day observation. More importantly, we should include our children in the ceremony.

They need to know that Veterans Day is much more than simply a federal holiday off from work and school. They need to know that the sacrifices made by previous generations are what allow us to enjoy the freedoms we so often take for granted today.

We are a proud country with a long history of defending our rights and way of life. We should instill that national pride in the next generation. Attending a local observance, experiencing a 21-gun salute, hearing the somber playing of “Taps,” will all go a long way toward accomplishing that goal.

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