ROBINS AIR FORCE BASE, Ga. --
The following is a message from Lt. Gen. Lee Levy III, Air Force Sustainment Center commander.
Veterans Day is a time to honor American veterans of all wars. Each year we set aside this special day to remember those who have served in our armed forces. From those brave service members who fought and died in the trenches of World War I, to those who are fighting on the ground, at sea, and in the air today, we owe them our deepest respect and gratitude.
Veterans Day originally began after World War I as Armistice Day. World War I, known as “The Great War,” officially ended on June 28, 1919, when the Treaty of Versailles was signed outside of Versailles, France. However, the fighting had actually stopped seven months earlier with an armistice between the Allied nations and Germany. The armistice - a cessation of hostilities - went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month ... 11 a.m., Nov. 11, 1918.
The following year, in 1919, President Wilson proclaimed Nov. 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day. He stated: "To us in America, 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 … " Armistice Day was originally observed in the United States with parades, public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11 a.m.
However, in 1938, Congress approved Armistice Day as a federal holiday and dedicated it to the cause of world peace. In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, in response to urging by veterans’ service organizations, Congress replaced the word Armistice with Veterans to commemorate a day to honor veterans of all wars.
This is an important day to recognize and remember the sacrifices of our veterans and their families to keep our country safe. From World War I to the recent campaigns in Iraq, Afghanistan and Syria, our veterans have an experience to share and we should take the time to listen and remember. Their important stories are interwoven into the fabric that shapes our country and strengthens the bond between our families and our citizens.
We proudly salute our warfighters who made a commitment to uphold the constitution and defend our nation from all enemies. I ask that you join me in paying tribute to generations of veterans on this Veterans Day.
Thank you for your service.
Your fellow Airman,
LEE K. LEVY II
Lieutenant General, USAF