November 11th marks the observance of Veterans’ Day in the United States. It is a day set aside to recognize the contributions of military men and women who died in battle, as well as give thanks to those veterans still living.
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 1918, World War One ended with an armistice.
U.S. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11th Armistice Day. And it became a
federal holiday in the United States.
In 1954, after veterans from the Second World War had returned home, one of those veterans, President Dwight Eisenhower, kept the date but changed the name to Veterans Day, a day to honor American veterans of all wars, veterans both living and dead.
On Veterans Day, the U.S. president traditionally lays a wreath at the
Tomb of the Unknowns in Arlington National Cemetery across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C.
Last year, President Bush said the United States would complete its mission in Iraq and Afghanistan and that the enemy would be defeated and democracy would prevail.
The conflict in Iraq is on many citizen's minds this Veterans Day, as are the Americans who have lost their lives there.
In Bella Vista, a small town in northwest Arkansas, a Veteran's Wall of Honor was unveiled last weekend. The names of those residents who served in the United States military are etched in the stone wall. Austin Phillips was on patrol in Baghdad last May when he was injured in a blast that cost him a limb.
AUSTIN PHILLIPS, SOLDIER
"It was very emotional, seeing it and realizing that I've made a sacrifice for my country."
So this Veterans Day will be marked with parades, as usual, and a ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknowns, and veterans from wars long ended will be honored along with veterans of a war still being waged.