Today in Europe is a public holiday. We all have the day off, shops are closed and not much is really happening. Why? Well, its Armistice Day of course! In the US, it was changed to be called Veterans Day after the end of World War II.
Armistice Day is the anniversary of the official end of World War I, November 11, 1918. It is for the armistice(a temporary cessation of fighting by mutual consent) signed between the Allies and Germany at Compiègne, France, for the cessation of hostilities on the Western Front, which took effect at eleven o'clock in the morning — the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month." The peace treaty was signed in the woods in a railway car which was destroyed during WWII.
While the holiday was originally set up to celebrate the end of the War to end all Wars, over time and especially after WWII is has changed to a holiday to honor those who have fought in a foreign or domestic war.
My family is rather a large military family. My father fought in Vietnam. My two Grandfathers were in WWII. My Great-Grandfather was in WWI. My GG-Grandfathers were in the Civil War....for both sides. I have family that fought in the French-Indian War, the Spanish War, the Revolutionary War and almost every other skirmish that happened on American soil....we did come over on the Mayflower after all. I really debated for a while joining the Military as my generation is the first one not to have any representation in the military.
I can not say that we have always believed in what we were fighting for, but we have done our duty to our Country and to our family and fought in wars at home and on foreign shores. I would like to say thank you to my family who has served...thank you for making it possible for us to sleep in our houses at night, walk the streets during the day and live a life where we are not in fear. Thank you to those who have laid down their lives for us in places often far away from those you love and were determined to protect.
In many parts of the world, people take a minute of silence at 11:11 as a sign of respect....will you join me in my minute of silence?