Editorial: Our protectors deserve thanks
When the warring nations signed the Treaty of Versailles to end World War I - then called "the war to end all wars" - in 1918, the treaty set the effective date to end hostilities as the "eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month."
Thus then President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 of every year as Armistice Day. It since has evolved into Veterans Day.
"To us in America," he said, "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 the nations...."
Sadly, World War I was not the war to end all wars. American men and women have fought in 28 wars and conflicts since the Revolutionary War.
The number of American men and women who have given their lives in service to the country now stands at 1,315,499 - not including the 13 victims of the mass shooting this past Thursday at Fort Hood.
Today, most of us will go about our business as we do every day. We'll go to work where we choose to work. We will watch television programs, listen to radio stations or visit the sites on the worldwide web we choose.
We'll criticize the actions of our federal, state and local governments without fear of repression. We'll take our children to public schools. This Sunday we'll go to the church of our choice.
We take all of those prerogatives for granted, but they came at the cost of blood, limbs and lives. The total number of Americans suffering non-mortal wounds since the Revolutionary War is 1,468,930.
As we go safely about our business today because of those sacrifices, the least we can do is say "thank you" to the currently serving members of the military or veterans we know.
What we enjoy so nonchalantly didn't come cheaply, and it won't be any easier to keep it in the future.