This Veterans Day marks the 100th anniversary of the armistice that ended World War I. On November 11, 1918, the European Allies signed an agreement with Germany that ended all hostilities on the Western Front.
The agreement was signed by German and Allied military leaders in the private train carriage of the Supreme Allied Commander Ferdinand Foch in Compiegne, France and went into effect at 11 o’clock in the morning — “the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.” Although the war didn’t officially end until the signing of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919, the armistice on November 11 effectively brought “the Great War” to its long-awaited close.
Many countries commemorate Armistice Day on November 11 each year, often marking the occasion with a moment of silence at 11 a.m. In the U.S., we recognize the date as Veterans Day, a time to honor all Americans who once served in the military.
While the U.S. didn’t enter the First World War until April 1917, approximately two million Americans served in the war and over 116,000 Americans died in combat. Since then, our country has been involved in many major military conflicts around the world and today, there are over 20.4 million American veterans.
This Veterans Day, we honor the men and women who served our country while remembering the armistice that marked the end of one of the deadliest conflicts that the world has ever seen.