At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918, the First World War came to an end.
The Armistice was signed for the War to End All Wars, but peace was built on a shoddy foundation, and war returned, nastier than ever. The end of the Second World War brought the United Nations and the promise of rational negotiation and eternal peace. Instead the nuclear era introduced the tense decades of the Cold War, flaring up in brutal regional wars in Korea, Vietnam, and throughout Africa and Central and South America. The collapse of the Soviet Union and the fall of the Berlin Wall brought optimism for a peaceful, democratic world. This was shattered by the terrorist tactics of a new enemy without borders to attack or a government to negotiate with. A cowardly enemy that cheers when children blow up children or when unarmed soldiers are murdered on their home base.
The human heart yearns for peace but is drawn to war. We can argue about it and say it shouldn’t be this way, but it is.
That’s why our armed services are vital. Our veterans have repelled the forces of Fascism, Totalitarianism, and Communism, and for this we owe them our eternal gratitude. Our active servicemen and servicewomen are currently fighting the forces of Terrorism, and for this we owe them our active support and appreciation.
On this 11th day of the 11th month, we thank the members of our armed services, past and present, for protecting our lives, our homes, and our freedom. May God bless you in your efforts.