The 11th hour of the 11TH DAY OF THE 11TH MONTH of 1918, World War I ended. Though the Armistice was signed at 5:00 AM, fighting continued till 11:00 AM, killing nearly 11,000 more men.
In 1921, President Warren Harding had the remains of an unknown soldier killed in France buried in the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier at Arlington Cemetery.
Inscribed on the Tomb are the words:
Here rests in honored glory an American soldier know but to God.
Armistice Day was changed to Veterans Day in 1954 to honor all U.S. Veterans. In 1958, President Eisenhower placed soldiers in the tomb from WWII and the Korean War.
The soldier from the Vietnam War, buried by President Reagan in 1984, was identified by DNA tests as pilot Michael Blassie. A graduate of St. Louis University Highschool, 1966, and the U.S. Air Force Academy, 1970, Blassie died when his A-37B Dragonfly was shot down near An Loc, South Vietnam. In 1998, he was reburied at Jefferson Memorial Cemetery, St. Louis, Missouri.
On NOVEMBER 11, 1921, President Harding stated:
On the threshold of eternity, many a soldier, I can well believe, wondered how his ebbing blood would color the stream of human life, flowing on after his sacrifice… I can sense the prayers of our people… Let me join in that prayer. Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come…
The Moral Liberal contributing editor, William J. Federer, is the bestselling author of “Backfired: A Nation Born for Religious Tolerance no Longer Tolerates Religion,” and numerous other books. A frequent radio and television guest, his daily American Minute is broadcast nationally via radio, television, and Internet. Check out all of Bill’s books here.