VA posterIt’s June 28, 1919. Our commander of the U.S. Allied Forces is inside a lovely palace called Versailles in France. A 440-article, 15-part treaty named after that palace was signed that day to end “The Great War,” more commonly known as World War I.

(Never mind those hundreds of articles jacked-up trade for Germany so badly, it kinda led to the rise of Nazis and another world war, but that’s another story.)

Although the Treaty of Versailles “officially” ended World War I, seven months earlier — the 11th month, the 11th day on the 11th hour (no kidding) — an armistice was reached. The temporary halt of hostility was considered “Armistice Day.”

The following November, President Woodrow Wilson made a national address with these words:

“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…”

And that, dear Americans, is how this day came to be. That was then, and this is now. Are you reflecting? Filled with solemn pride? Or just pissed the banks are closed?

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