From Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus, published on November 8, 2010:
On Nov. 11 each year, the United States formally honors the service and sacrifice of more than 20 million living American veterans through their service, as well as all the men and women who have guaranteed our freedom and kept America secure against those who would harm us throughout the years.
Our veterans represent the best of America. Coming from every background and every walk of life, they represent the rich tapestry of our nation and the multitude of cultures that make the United States unique upon the earth.
On Veterans Day, we have an opportunity to thank them, to thank every Marine, Sailor, Soldier, Airman and Coast Guardsmen who has ever worn the uniform for what they have done, and to thank those of you still in uniform for what you continue to do for the United States every day.
Thank you for your service, Godspeed.
Major hostilities of World War I — “The War To End All Wars” — ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of November in 1918. One year later, President Woodrow Wilson declared the day a holiday named Armistice Day.
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with lots of 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 the nations.”
By 1954, the holiday became known as Veterans Day.
Thank a Veteran today, will you?