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The 11th Hour

It wasn’t called World War I, until after World War II. Before then it had simply been called what it was, “The Great War.” It was a costly war around the globe. Nothing like it had been seen before and all hoped that nothing like it would ever be seen again. So on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, the war was officially ended.

Here in the United States, this Armistice Day became a federal holiday. Eventually it became what is known today as Veteran’s Day. So today we proudly honor our veterans and thank them for all they have sacrificed for our country.

The treated was signed with great thought put into every detail of the ceremony. This was a war to end all wars, so naturally the ceremony to end such a war had to be the ceremony to end all ceremonies. But we didn’t pay attention.

The Great War is now known as World War I, because we didn’t enforce the requirements of the treaty. World domination arose again and many more lives were lost. The atrocities that happened during World War II should keep us awake at night if we ever think we can let our guard down again.

Today we have very few living veterans of World War II, but I hope we will never forget all they have done for us. I hope we never forget the solemnity of the 11th hour. I hope we never allow atrocities and world domination to rear its ugly head again. Thank you veterans! Thank you for doing your part in protecting the freedoms of this great nation. I pray we will support you the most in doing our part to make sure there is never a World War III. We are grateful for our dedicated and devoted soldiers, but we should never treat them flippantly, by allowing war on a global scale to creep up on us again. Let us all remember the importance of the 11th hour. A war to end all wars. A ceremony to end all such ceremonies.

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Is it really possible that 71 years ago today, one act of aggression changed the face of a war?

I’ve visited a lot of memorials and monuments in my life. My father was the kind of traveler that didn’t miss anything worth seeing along the way. A drive that would take most people three hours took us eight. But those eight hours were filled with memories, discoveries and family. One thing dad rarely missed – monuments and memorials.

The day I stood on the USS Arizona Memorial was something I had never experienced before in all my life. Monuments and memorials are dead. But this memorial was eerily alive. You can see some of the tallest parts of the ship under those clear waters. As the waves drive in and around through the harbor, they force little bits of oil from wherever it can still be found on that great ship.

The veterans of World War II are growing smaller and smaller in number as time marches on. Please take the time to thank one today. You may not have that chance tomorrow.

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