Thank you for your service, Mr. Welford Williams
11/9/2023, 6 p.m.
Friday is Veterans Day, which honors all of those who have served the country in war or peace — dead or alive — although it’s largely intended to thank living veterans for their sacrifices.
Veterans Day originally was called Armistice Day, commemorating the end of World War I, according to the U.S. Department of Defense.
World War I officially ended when the Treaty of Versailles was signed on June 28, 1919. However, the fighting ended about seven months before that when the Allies and Germany put into effect an armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
For that reason, Nov. 11, 1918, was largely considered the end of “the war to end all wars” and dubbed Armistice Day. In 1926, Congress officially recognized it as the end of the war, and in 1938, it became an official holiday, primarily a day set aside to honor veterans of World War I.
But then World War II and the Korean War happened, so on June 1, 1954, at the urging of veterans service organizations, Congress amended the commemoration yet again by changing the word “armistice” to “veterans” so the day would honor American veterans of all wars.
Thuse, we are honored that one veteran in particular, Welford Williams, agreed to share his World War II military experience with our Richmond Free Press audiences in this edition. Having recently celebrated his 100th birthday, we are thankful for Mr. Williams’ presence and service.