ALL AMERICANS should pause today -- on Veterans Day -- for a moment of silent meditation and reflection on the sacrifices made by our nation's veterans to preserve our way of life.
Originally known as Armistice Day in honor of the end of World War I on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the holiday was first designated by President Woodrow Wilson. Congress passed a bill in 1954 -- signed by President Dwight Eisenhower -- proclaiming Nov. 11 as Veterans Day to also honor those who died in World War II.
Since then, the holiday has grown to honor all veterans.
Eastern Ohio has always been known as an area which contributed more than its share of young men to the armed forces. The graves of soldiers from the Revolutionary War can be found on our soil. During Vietnam, Beallsville was known around the nation for having lost a greater percentage of its population to the war than any other place in the country.
Today many veterans continue to make Eastern Ohio a better place to live. Indeed, without their contributions in civilian life, our area would be a much poorer place, both materialistically and spiritually.
The world remains in many places a dangerous battlefield.
Our nation's forces remain in Afghanistan and Iraq, working to prop up peace. Others can be found all over the Earth, ready to defend freedom at a moment's notice.
Today we salute all those men and women who have served our country to preserve our freedoms. Their sacrifices should never be forgotten.