Ninety-eight years ago today, in a railway car just outside of Compiègne, France, the armistice that ended The Great War, World War I, was signed. Even though the armistice itself was actually signed early in the morning, it officially took effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. The first Veterans Day was celebrated a year after that, in 1919, as a way to mark the end of the war.
There are no more World War I survivors left among us, and the number of survivors of other wars continues to dwindle every single day. To that point, the video I've posted above is about the Doolittle Raiders, the men that completed one of the most daring attacks of the War in the Pacific in World War II. At the time that the video was made last year, there were two of the Doolittle Raiders remaining, and they still got together for their reunion as they had done every year.
Today, only one of the Doolittle Raiders is still with us, Colonel Richard E. Cole, who piloted Aircraft #1 in the fight. He's 101 years old. In the video, hosted by Bill Whittle, he concludes with a sentiment that could be applied not just to Colonel Cole, but other veterans as well.
". . .these golden members of the golden generation that saved the world entire. . .and if you know one of them, and have anything you'd like to say to them, you should say it soon. You probably should say it now."
These men and women are connections to pivotal points in our nation's history, and their numbers are dwindling. There's a very good chance you know someone who has served, whether it's in World War II or in more recent conflicts. So today, if you have the opportunity to do so, I urge you to sit down and converse with one of these heroes. They have stories that you likely aren't going to hear of anywhere else, and from my experience they enjoy getting the opportunity to tell them. If you see them at one of your local dining or drinking establish, spot them a meal or their beverage of choice and give them a thank you. They'll appreciate it more than you probably realize.
The other video here, one that I've posted every year since this site came online, is the video for the song "A Pittance of Time" by Canadian musician Terry Kelly. I don't think there's a better song for expressing the importance of this particular day.
To all of our men and women that are serving or have served, thank you.