It's a familiar story to students of history, both young and old: At the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, World War I came to an end as Germany signed the Armistice in 1918.
They called it the "War to end all wars."
In a little more than four years of fighting, there were nearly 40 million dead, wounded and missing action. The world had never seen anything like it and the hope was nothing like it would ever happen again.
President Woodrow Wilson declared Nov. 11, 1919 Armistice Day. Other nations around the world observed a national day of remembrance as well. It became an annual event and soon a national holiday "dedicated to the cause of world peace."
But peace didn't last and soon the world was back at war. After World War II, Armistice Day was renamed Veterans Day, to honor veterans from all wars.
Times of war and peace have have come and gone and our soldiers have continued to serve honorably.
Today, our country is at war again and we remember those who are serving and have served to preserve the freedoms we all enjoy. Thousands of American soldiers have died in Iraq and Afghanistan, and many more have been wounded.
On Thursday, 13 more soldiers were killed in a shooting at Fort Hood in Texas as some of them were preparing to deploy overseas. While all the details of this tragic event are not yet clear, it reminds us how risky and honorable the service of our soldiers is.
We honor all soldiers past and present, whether they served in battle or time of peace. We Americans stand free on their shoulders.
We also pray for peace and the safe return of all those in battle.