We remember those who were called upon to give all a person can give, and we remember those who were prepared to make that sacrifice if it were demanded of them in the line of duty, though it never was. Most of all, we remember the devotion and gallantry with which all of them ennobled their nation as they became champions of a noble cause.
President Ronald Reagan,
1988 Veterans Day remarks,
Vietnam Veterans Memorial
Tomorrow, on the 101st anniversary of the end of World War I at 11 a.m., in which approximately 20 million people died, the nation observes America’s 100th Veterans Day, that originated Nov. 11, 1919, as Armistice Day.
Veterans Day commemorates the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918 when the armistice ended hostilities. While the fighting ended, the signing of the Treaty of Versailles June 28, 1919, by the Allies and the Central Powers, the German, Austro-Hungarian and Ottoman Turkish empires, officially ended the war.
In 1926 Congress recognized Nov. 11 as the end of the war, and in 1938 it became an official holiday, to honor veterans of World War I.
Then World War II and the Korean War ensued. At the urging of veteran service organizations, Congress changed the word “armistice” to veterans in 1954 so the day would honor American veterans of all wars.
After years of confusion such as the Uniform Holiday Bill in 1968 moving some federal holidays to a Monday to create a long weekend, President Gerald Ford signed a law in 1975 that as of 1978 Veterans Day would be observed Nov. 11.
At 10:30 a.m. tomorrow, the Morehead City Historical Preservation Society will sponsor two ceremonies at Bayview Cemetery in Morehead City. The first, a Day of Remembrance Service, will honor three British sailors in the cemetery on the west side of 20th Street. The three — John L. Fisher, 25; Maldwyn Jones, 22; and an unknown sailor believed to be R. Wyatt — were killed when their vessel, the oil tanker San Delfino, was torpedoed and sunk by a German U-boat off Cape Lookout April 9, 1942, in World War II.
Then American veterans will be honored at 11 a.m. at the Veterans Memorial on the east side of 20th Street.
Veterans Day is when we salute all of America’s veterans, living and dead, who faithfully served their country in peace or war. We also demonstrate gratitude through a renewed commitment to care for them.
North Carolina’s aquariums at Pine Knoll Shores, Fort Fisher and Roanoke Island are granting free admission tomorrow to veterans with a valid service I.D. or proof of service, and their spouses and dependents.
Food Lion stores will offer a 10% discount to active and retired military personnel. They must present their MVP card, along with military identification, if available, at checkout. The discount does not apply to alcohol, tobacco, gift cards, lottery, postage stamps or services.
We salute all — living and dead — who have served and serve America.