Armistice Day. World War I is not a war that is very much in the American public conscious, but it should be. It is the first modern war from the point of view that it included most of the modern weapons that we now associate with warfare. Tanks, airplanes, submarines and chemicals came into destructive maturity during WWI. It was also the war in which civilians began to be targeted indiscriminately as part of warfare. It is also the war that shaped pretty much the rest of the 20th century. It created many of the circumstances from which came World War II, as well as modern problems in the Balkans and the Middle East. It was the catalyst of the Bolshevik Revolution in Russia, which led to the rise of communism and the Cold War.
War and suffering isn't what Veterans' Day is about, though. This is the day where we remember the people who gave so much to fight for their country. During the past century, millions of men and women have gone off to war, often to places they had never heard of. They fought, suffered and often died to protect Freedom. Regardless of the politics of the wars they fought in, their sacrifice remains important and should be remembered and appreciated.
After World War II and Korea, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans' Day to remember all American veterans of wars and peacetime.