An editorial from The Register-Herald
BECKLEY, W.Va. — The 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
That was moment that the armistice was signed that ended the shooting of World War I — “the war to end all wars.”
In November 1919, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day.
On June 4, 1926, the U.S. Congress in a concurrent resolution officially recognized Armistice Day with these words:
“Whereas the 11th of November 1918, marked the cessation of the most destructive, sanguinary and far reaching war in human annals and the resumption by the people of the United States of peaceful relations with other nations, which we hope may never again be severed, and
“Whereas it is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations; and
“Whereas the legislatures of twenty-seven of our States have already declared November 11 to be a legal holiday: Therefore be it Resolved by the Senate (the House of Representatives concurring), that the President of the United States is requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the officials to display the flag of the United States on all Government buildings on November 11 and inviting the people of the United States to observe the day in schools and churches, or other suitable places, with appropriate ceremonies of friendly relations with all other peoples.”
Throughout the ensuing years and more “wars to end all wars,” the name of the observance evolved into the celebration we observe today — Veterans Day.
For some, the day has become a reason to have a work or school holiday or to attend a big sale.
But for most of us, it remains a time of somber reflection…