Eleventh Hour, Eleventh Day, Eleventh Month

November 11,1918 marked the end of the war to end all wars or WWI. Alas, as we know all too well, that was not to be. Truth be told, it had no chance to achieve that goal. Wars have continued and continue; in all sizes and for a multitude of reasons. The day we call Veterans Day remembers those who served, those who returned,those who didn’t and honors those who serve now. We know all too well about those in Iraq and Afghanistan but also South Korea, on ships around the world, in numerous other countries and on bases here at home like Ft Benning and particularly Ft Hood.

The day originated as Armistice Day on November 11,1919,  the first anniversary of WWI’s conclusion, at the urging of Pres Woodrow Wilson. It did not become a national holiday, however,until 1938. The name changed to Veterans Day until 1954 when President Eisenhower signed legislation to honor those who had served in any  and all wars. Appropriately so, since he was the Supreme Allied Commander in WWII.

We have  around 24 million living veterans, about 10% of whom are women and  slightly over 10% are African-American. Some the more interesting  facts I discovered was that about  40% of of our living vets are over 65 but only 10% of  our living vets are from WWII. That is  a number that is rapidly declining. Numbers also indicate that about 1/3 of  veterans live in  just 5 states; California, Texas, Florida, New York and Pennsylvania. I know numbers can be mind numbing but just  a couple more. The number of living veterans   comprises roughly 1/2 of  the veterans that served in wartime since Revolutionary  War  days .

So, today, we salute them all (the approximately 1.5 million on active duty) those who have served and remain  and in particular those who are gone.


November 11, 2009 - Posted by | Holidays, military | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. Readers may also be interested in the writings home from the front of US Sgt. Sam Avery. Fascinating eyewitness history from the hot sands along the Rio Grande to the cold mud along the Meuse. http://worldwar1letters.wordpress.com

    Comment by worldwar1letters | November 11, 2009 | Reply

  2. I was amazed to hear we still have one WWI still alive. He’s 108, bless his heart.

    Comment by larrys | November 12, 2009 | Reply

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