A couple of weeks ago, someone asked me why Veterans' Day traditionally was celebrated on November 11. The reason is linked to the official end of World War I. The Treaty of Versailles took effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month of 1918. Some people who were in the trenches in Europe described how the sounds of gunfire suddenly came to a stop. World War I was fully mechanized brutality that wiped out a generation in Britain, France, Germany and the other main participants from the commencement of the war in 1914 through to its end. The United States entered only after three years of destruction. When we committed our troops, we sent them over without any indication to them of where they were to be deployed or in what fashion.
World War I gave greater impetus to nations to write up rules of warfare. All warfare, to that point and since, has been brutal and violent. World War I had special, technological twists that were particularly horrifying. Both sides employed gas warfare. WWI also was the first massive---not the first, but the first massive---use of the machine gun. Some of our "dough boys" did not return. Other came home with lungs lacerated by poison gas or missing limbs from battlefield wounds. Veterans Day was commemorated to honor those veterans---and specifically those veterans of World War I. In 1954, Congress enacted a measure to honor all veterans on November 11. President Eisenhower signed the measure into law. In 1971, to coincide with work schedules, the official holiday was changed to a Monday right around November 11.
We will stream live from the White River Yacht Club. About a dozen veterans will join us. We also hope to have, as guests, people who work with services for veterans who can give information as to how such services can be accessed by veterans.