Honoring 105 Years Since the Armistice, Veterans Day Celebrates Heroes Past and Present
On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month—one hundred and five years ago—World War I ended with an armistice signing between the Allies and Germany. It was 20 years later, on May 13, 1938, that November 11 was anointed as Armistice Day and proclaimed as “a day to be dedicated to the cause of world peace.”
Armistice Day, now known as Veterans Day in the United States and Remembrance Day in several other countries, stands as a solemn reminder of the sacrifices made by the servicemen and women throughout history. Its origins, dating back to the end of World War I on November 11, 1918, signify not only the cessation of hostilities but also the hope for a lasting peace.
The armistice signed on that significant day did not symbolize victory but rather represented a collective, weary acknowledgment that conflict should cease. The repercussions of this decision were felt worldwide, leading to a determination that diplomacy should prevail over conflict, a principle that was, tragically, to be tested repeatedly in the following century through various global conflicts, including World War II.
When Congress enacted the day as Armistice Day in 1938, it was a tribute to the veterans of World War I. Still, there was a shift following the substantial conflicts of World War II and the Korean War. Recognizing the continuous sacrifices being made in 1954, President Dwight D. Eisenhower officially changed the name from Armistice Day to Veterans Day, expanding the significance of the day to honor American veterans of all wars, not just those who had served in World War I.
In this contemporary era, 105 years after that fateful day in 1918, Veterans Day embodies a dual purpose: it is a time of remembrance for those who lost their lives and a time of gratitude for those who served. Across the nation, ceremonies, parades, and memorials will be held in honor of these brave men and women. They serve as a reminder not just of past wars but of current and ongoing conflicts and the continuous efforts of all our service members.
Education plays a crucial role on this day, too. Schools and communities often organize presentations and discussions about the historical significance of World War I and subsequent conflicts, ensuring younger generations understand the costs of war and the value of peace. Furthermore, many citizens don a poppy, a symbol inspired by the World War I poem “In Flanders Fields,” as a personal tribute to fallen soldiers.
The aspiration for peace that marked the original Armistice Day remains as crucial now as it was 105 years ago. Today, as we commemorate Veterans Day, we reflect on the toll of war, honor those who fought and continue to fight for freedom and peace, and contemplate the essentialness of diplomacy and dialogue over conflict. Each event attended, each story shared, each moment of silence observed, reinforces collective memory and respect—ensuring that the past’s lessons steer the future’s choices.
This November, we remember all those who served in “the war to end all wars” and every war since. Armistice Day was set aside as a day to remember the cost of war, the treasures of freedom, and the purpose of peace.
If you are able, please take the time to attend one of the Veteran’s Day events in remembrance of the cost of war and the peaceful purpose of Armistice Day.
Veterans Day North County Events November 11
Faces of Freedom Veterans Memorial
Veterans Memorial, corner of Morro and Portola Roads, Atascadero
Gather at the Veterans Day Ceremony at the Faces of Freedom Memorial hosted by the Atascadero Veterans Memorial Foundation.
Annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner
Atascadero Elks Lodge, 1516 El Camino Real
The Atascadero Elks Lodge #2733 is hosting its Annual Veterans Appreciation Dinner on November 11 to honor and express gratitude to veterans and their caregivers. Veterans and caregivers are welcome for free, while non-veterans can attend for $12. RSVP by November 7 at (805) 466-3557.
Veterans Day Memorial
Veterans Memorial, Paso Robles District Cemetary
Program features an invocation, Pledge of Allegiance, welcome, guest speaker, patriotic songs, fly-over, closing prayer, honor guard, and Taps. Flags are placed at all identified veteran’s graves by American Legion Post 50 and Veterans of Foreign Wars Post 10965.