Thank those putting their lives on the line

The origins of Veterans Day can be traced to the ending of World War I, known at the time as "The Great War," World War I officially ended on June 28, 1919, with the signing of the Treaty of Versailles in France.


The fighting had actually ended seven months earlier when an armistice between the Allies and Germany went into effect on Nov. 11, "Armistice Day" in honor of the cessation of the hostilities and the day became a federal holiday in 1938.


The act was amended in 1954 after veteran's service organizations, in recognition of the efforts of soldiers who fought in World War II, asked that the day renamed "Veterans Day" so it honored all soldiers and not just those who fought in World War I.


Men and women serving in the military make considerable sacrifices in defense of America. It's important for all Americans to recognize the efforts of both active and veteran servicemen and women.


Some ways to show your appreciation include:


Help a neighbor who is on active duty. Active duty service members can be away from their families for long periods of time, and their absence can make things difficult for their families. Neighbors can show their appreciation by helping with some chores around the house, offer to mow a neighbor's lawn or drive a neighbor's child to school.


Support the Wounded Warrior Project, the project works to raise awareness and enlist the public's help to address the needs of injured service members. Many service members sustain physical injuries while deployed.


One of the simplest ways to show your support for service members is to write them a letter expressing that appreciation. If you do not know any members of the military, A Million Thanks, is a year-round campaign that encourages Americans to write letters, emails, or send cards to U.S. military personnel, past and present to thank them for their sacrifices, dedication and service.


Be sure to always vote. Voting is one such freedom, so Americans should make it a point to vote every Election Day and teach their kids about the responsibility each American has to vote and take an interest in their government. Members of the military routinely put their lives on the line so Americans can enjoy freedoms that many people across the globe cannot.