Veterans Day Reflections

Sen. Cunningham col. 11/15

One hundred years ago, an armistice was signed that brought an end to the hostilities of “the war to end all wars.” Signed on the eleventh day in the eleventh month on the eleventh hour, the armistice ended World War I. Unfortunately, WWI would not be the war to end all wars as had been hoped, but the date of Nov. 11 would play a special role in honoring those who fought to defend our country during WWI and the wars and conflicts that followed it.

Originally called Armistice Day, November 11 was first recognized by Congress in 1926 and became an official holiday in 1938 to honor the contributions of those who fought in the Great War. However, with the events of World War II and the Korean War, many believed it was proper to change the name of the holiday to recognize all of those who had fought and continue to fight to defend our freedoms. So, in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the holiday’s name to Veterans Day.

Today, Veterans Day is about honoring all veterans who have served to protect our way of life and those who continue to protect this great nation of ours. We are truly blessed in this country to have such dedicated individuals who are willing to put so much on the line to keep us safe back home. America’s story would be vastly different if it were not for these brave men and women.

From decade to decade and from conflict to conflict, we have managed to find incredibly brave and courageous individuals who are willing to stand up and serve our country no matter what lies ahead of them. They fight for a better and safer world. I believe there is something special in the American spirit that allows each generation to meet the call to action time and time again. We owe these individuals a deep debt of gratitude.

While it is necessary to honor those veterans who have passed on or those who made the ultimate sacrifice, I think it is important to also remember the veterans still with us today. Currently, there are more than 20 million veterans still living in our country. With that in mind, I ask that we all take some time out of our day this November 11 to recognize the veterans in our lives and those serving our country. They are a true testament to the strength of our nation, and we are forever thankful for their service.

As a veteran myself, I understand the sacrifices that come with military service. With that in mind, I would like to say thank you to every veteran for their service and sacrifice for our country. If there is anything my office can ever do for you, please do not hesitate to contact me.

As always, I appreciate it when groups from around Missouri and from our community back home come to visit me at the Capitol. If you would like to arrange a time to come and visit me in Jefferson City, or if you ever have any questions, please don’t hesitate to contact my Capitol office at (573) 751-1882.