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Veterans Day thoughts

If you heard bells peal across the Heart of Virginia Sunday at 11 a.m., anywhere from churches, to government buildings, even on a loved one’s cellphone, it was to mark the 100th year of Armistice Day, when at Nov. 11, 1918, known as the day that allies and Germany formally agreed to end the First World War. The Armistice came into effect at 11 a.m.

The agreement, which was celebrated throughout the world, was recognized annually in the United States for decades into the mid-1950s. In 1954, the name Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day to remember veterans who have fought in conflicts since World War I.

In an address written to U.S. people by Woodrow Wilson in 1919 about Armistice Day, Wilson said, “To us in America the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service, and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of nations.”

Veterans and their families affected by WWI, WWII, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, the Gulf War, the Cold War, the conflict of Desert Storm in 1991, the Iraq War that began in 2003 and numerous others are our neighbors, family members and loved ones.

Numerous events this weekend and Monday reflected respect, gratitude and kindness toward veterans and their families that included dinners and breakfasts held by service organizations in Cumberland, a United States Marine Corps birthday celebration at Charley’s Waterfront Cafe Saturday, tours of Civil War sites at Sailor’s Creek Battlefield State Park, an Armistice/Veterans Day celebration Sunday at the Train Station and assemblies held by several schools.

Perhaps the best thing we can do as veterans and non-veterans is to reach out. To contact those we know who are veterans and thank them, listen to them, and find ways to honor them that are both personal and respectful. To those community organizations that have put such hard work to communicate honor and respect, we at The Herald thank them.

To all veterans who have sacrificed, served, continue to serve their communities, and have set examples for their family members and friends, we thank you, and we commit to taking care of you and others like you.