Today is Veterans Day, a day when we as Americans recognize the heroism of the brave men and women who have served in our nation’s armed forces. Initially called Armistice Day to commemorate the anniversary of the signing of the armistice that ended World War I, the holiday was changed in 1954 to Veterans Day to recognize all Veterans in all wars.
This year marks the centennial commemoration of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
For 100 years, the Tomb has served as the heart of Arlington National Cemetery. As a sacred memorial site and the grave of three unknown American service members, the Tomb inspires reflection on service, valor, sacrifice and mourning. Since November 11, 1921, the Tomb has provided a final resting place for one of America’s unidentified World War I service members, and Unknowns from later wars were added in 1958 and 1984.
Usually I, like many of you, take time on this day to attend a parade or a ceremony to recognize those who serve. Due to the ongoing pandemic, some of these events—depending on the event and location—may be postponed for another year or perhaps you may be given the opportunity to join in remotely. Ultimately, I hope that you are able to take a few minutes today to reflect upon the service, valor, sacrifice and mourning of members of our nation’s military, past and present.
And when you meet a Veteran, whether on Veterans Day or any other day, offer him or her your hand in gratitude for their military service, as I do.