A day to say thank you to those who have served

By John Peters

November 12, 2013

On Monday Mount Airy and other local officials marked Veteran’s Day, with a parade through the downtown section of the city, along with a ceremony at the city’s memorial.

All weekend there were similar events, in schools, at local adult homes, community centers and with other organizations.

It occurs on Nov. 11 each year, in keeping with its origins as Armistice Day — the commemoration of the end of World War I, when an armistice was signed between the Allied powers and Germany at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918.

Originally, the day was meant as a remembrance to those who died during that war. At the time, many leaders from around the world had hoped that the scope of that war, both in terms of number of soldiers who served, number of nations involved, damage and cost of the hostilities, and most of all because of the number of soldiers killed or wounded, would mean the end of all wars.

Surely, no one would want to risk another armed conflict, particularly with the escalating strength and effective of weapons being developed.

Unfortunately, perhaps even tragically, history has unfolded in a different manner, with conflicts and wars continuing on. After World War II the decision was made, in the United States, to expand Armistice Day to commemorate those who had served he United States in any capacity with the armed services.

As Memorial Day in the spring has come to be a time to honor those who gave their lives in military service, Veteran’s Day has come to honor those who served and returned to civilian life, to thank them for giving of their time, their energy, their talents and emotions to the service of all who call the United States their home.

And, as Veteran’s Day 2013 begins to recede in our memories, we would like to add to that thanks in expressing our gratitude to those who have served and those who are serving now.