From 1914 until 1918, the world was caught in the biggest war seen at the time. It was named the Great War and referred to as “the war to end all wars.”
In 1918, the countries involved called an armistice, which went into effect on the eleventh hour on the eleventh day of the eleventh month. Therefore, Nov. 11, 1918 was the first day of peace after three years and four months of fighting. Seven months later, the Treaty of Versailles was signed, officially ending the war.
The following year, President Wilson called America to celebrate the first anniversary of the end of what is now called World War I. Armistice Day would be a day of parades and a celebration of the brave soldiers who served the U.S. during a time of war. Beginning at 11:00 a.m. on that day, Americans would take a break from work to recognize the nation’s veterans.
America has been involved in wars and conflicts since that time. World War II, the Iraq War and others have left their marks on the nation and the world. However, the tradition of celebrating the end of World War I’s violence carries on today. It became an official holiday in 1954, when President Eisenhower signed the first Veterans Day Proclamation.
Nov. 11 of this year will be the 97th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I and people around the country will celebrate the heroic veterans living among us today. There are many ways to give them the recognition they deserve on this day.
Running for our veterans
Back in 1919, President Wilson expressed a desire that the day be celebrated with parades. According to Forbes writer Kelly Phillips Erb, many people enjoy a twist on this idea by taking part in a charitable run or walk. The National Veterans Day Run, now in its fifth year, is held in 15 different cities. Money raised through the 11k runs will be donated to veterans’ causes.
Erb explained that other races around the country will benefit veterans. Homes for our Troops encourages people to run in support of veterans throughout the year, with races held in Orlando, Florida, Denver and other major cities throughout the U.S. Homes for our Troops strives to provide homes tailored to wounded and disabled veterans.
Helping troops overseas
It’s important to remember that while there are veterans living in the U.S. today who deserve recognition, there are many men and women who are currently deployed. These people will not be at home to celebrate the holiday with their own friends or families. If you know someone who is deployed, be sure to reach out to them. Let them know you and others are thinking about them and appreciate the service they provide the country. Send them a package or a letter to remind them of the love and care that is waiting for them at home.
Soldiers’ Angels is an organization dedicated to showing veterans, soldiers and Marines the love and appreciation they deserve. The nonprofit has sent thousands of care packages and many more letters to deployed troops through donations from community members.
“As of January, 2014, nearly 50,000 veterans were homeless.”
Veterans in need
When a soldier or Marine comes back home, he or she should have access to the services and aid they need to adjust to civilian life. However, this does not always happen. According to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, as of January, 2014, nearly 50,000 veterans were homeless. To support this population, citizens can donate to emergency care centers or volunteer to provide services to veterans, such as through a Stand Down program, according to the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans.
These veterans need help throughout the year – not just in November. Veterans can access services and benefits through many locations. For instance, VA loans are available through many mortgage companies to help enable veterans and their families to find a home that suits their needs. The opportunity to become a homeowner gives many veterans and their families a stable place they can call their own.