On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, in the Forest of Compiègne north of Paris, an Armistice went into effect ending hostilities in World War I - "the War to End All Wars."
At the urging of veterans' service organizations 38 years after the end of World War I, the 83rd Congress established Veteran's Day. And we recognize every November 11th as the day we pause to honor American veterans of all wars. We dedicate this day to pay tribute to those who've served, fought and died for our great nation. Today we reflect upon those who continue to serve, fight and sacrifice in the ongoing war against terrorism.
The observance of Veterans Day preserves in the hearts and lives of all American citizens the spirit of patriotism, the love of country and the willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good symbolized by this very special day. Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld wrote that Veteran's Day is to honor and recognize, not just the Greatest Generation, but also the latest generation - "those who today wear the uniform and bear the responsibility for defending freedom and protecting our American way of life."
I join Secretary Rumsfeld and all of our countrymen around the world in honoring the daily sacrifices each and every one of you make in service to our great nation. You Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coastguardsmen who serve in the U.S. European Command, serve in the shadows of great people as you continue to create shadows of greatness for others to serve in.
I'm proud of your many accomplishments, and stand in admiration of your perseverance to ensure the freedoms of our great nation. Please, take the time as I do everyday, to remember the sacrifices you and your comrades-in-arms have made, and continue to make, to keep our nation free. Your commander, Gen. James L. Jones, USMC U.S. European Command