On November 11, 1918, the leaders of Germany and the Allied powers met in France to sign the armistice that marked the end of major hostilities in World War I. The following year, President Woodrow Wilson declared Armistice Day an official holiday to commemorate the men and women who fought in the war.
In 1954, President Eisenhower approved changing Armistice Day to Veterans Day at the encouragement of a World War II veteran who wanted to expand the holiday to honor all veterans of the U.S. military.
It was an important and fitting change. American troops are deployed all over the world. Some are in conflict areas, whereas others are on bases in safe nations. But each of them has answered the call of duty; they have left their friends and families behind, driven by a desire to serve. They are willing to put themselves in harm’s way because dedication to their country is more important to them than their safety.
On Veterans Day, we pay tribute to the men and women who, since this country’s founding, have fought bravely to defend our way of life. They sacrifice in ways most of us can never imagine; their heroism is beyond what most of us are capable of. They set an example we would all do well to follow.
Next time you see them or someone in uniform, remember to take a moment to do something nice for them and thank them for their service to us all. To all the veterans in Minnesota and across our great nation thank you. Thank you for your dedication, for your selflessness, and your courage. May God continue to bless you and keep you safe.
Senator Dan Hall