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A moment of silence on Veterans Day

TucsonSentinel.com will observe two minutes of silence at 11 a.m. on Nov. 11 in recognition of the sacrifices of those who have served the United States and our allies, their families, and those who paid the ultimate price in war.

For a brief moment or two, we'll shut down our website and play our small part in calling for a brief period of contemplation.

Ode of Remembrance

  • They went with songs to the battle, they were young.
  • Straight of limb, true of eyes, steady and aglow.
  • They were staunch to the end against odds uncounted,
  • They fell with their faces to the foe.
  • They shall grow not old, as we that are left grow old:
  • Age shall not weary them, nor the years condemn.
  • At the going down of the sun and in the morning,
  • We will remember them.

 

Known as Remembrance Day or Armistice Day in other countries, Nov. 11 marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I, which took effect on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918. President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed the first holiday a year later.

In 1938, Congress passed a law declaring a holiday dedicated to the cause of world peace and to be thereafter celebrated and known as 'Armistice Day'. In 1954, after World War II and the Korean War, the name of the holiday was changed to Veterans Day.

Enduring carnage on a level never seen before, those who fought in World War I hoped it would be "the war to end all wars." As American troops find themselves in harm's way around the world nearly a century later, we know that wasn't the case.

As we celebrate the selfless heroism of our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines, let us all remember those who gave their lives in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. See TucsonSentinel.com/local/report/fallen to learn more about the Tucson and Southern Arizona troops who were killed in those two countries.

And for those who have made it home safely, let's do more than offer an annual "thanks." Veterans injured in body and mind were promised care. Those returning to civilian life were promised fair treatment as they reenter the work force. They held up their half of the bargain.

Veterans Day is a day for marching bands and waving flags. It's also a day for remembering that the flag can be heavy to hold. Let's hold up our half.

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jcolman/Flickr

The Stars and Stripes flying over the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in Washington, D.C.

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