At the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, fighting ceased between the Allied Nations and Germany. Known then as The Great War, World War I did not officially end until months later when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919.

President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11, 1919, as the first Armistice Day in gratitude and tribute to the heroism of those who fought and those who died in what was believed at the time to be “the war to end all wars.”

Sadly, it was not to be. Two decades later, on September 1, 1939, the world became embroiled in World War II.  That global conflict, pitting the Axis (Germany, Japan, and Italy) against the Allies (Great Britain, United States, Soviet Union, and China), took the lives of 16 million soldiers and 45 million civilians.

America has been engaged in several wars around the globe since the second world war, and each time valiant men and women have put themselves in harm’s way to defend our nation.

Armistice Day was officially renamed Veterans Day in 1954 by President Dwight Eisenhower. In a 1975 act of Congress, November 11th was officially established as Veterans Day – an annual tribute to honor veterans of all conflicts, living and dead.

Today, we join with the rest of our nation in honoring and thanking our many veterans for their patriotism, their love of country, and their willingness to serve and sacrifice for our common good and our freedom.