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America’s freedom is a gift bought by those who have served in the armed forces to guard this nation from enemies that threaten our liberties. 

Monday is Veterans Day. It’s a day that arouses three emotions in most Americans: solemnity, because it celebrates the veterans who have defended our country; sadness, because so many have lost their lives in the process; and pride, because they have fought so well.

President Woodrow Wilson established the holiday as Armistice Day in 1919 on the first anniversary of the agreement ending World War I.

Unlike Memorial Day, which honors those service men and women who paid the ultimate price to secure our liberties, Veterans Day is an opportunity to remember not just those who have died, but to thank all veterans who served.

It is customary to perform ceremonies honoring veterans on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of the year.

The date and time are significant because it was precisely at that time on that day in 1918 that World War I hostilities ended. In 1926, Nov. 11 was designated as Armistice Day to honor those who served in the first great war. After World War II, the holiday was renamed Veterans Day and all former service men and women were included for recognition.

From the American Revolution to the Civil War to two World Wars to Vietnam to today’s far-flung conflicts, the supreme value that our veterans have fought and died for is freedom. 

Veterans share a strong bond, a love of country and a devotion to their comrades. That’s something we acknowledge and respect on Veterans Day.

We are forever thankful to those who served and those serving today. May God bless our veterans and the United States of America.

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