Now that one of the most bitter and divisive presidential election campaigns in the history of the United States is finally behind us, it’s time to come back together as one nation.

So perhaps it is fitting that only a few days after the end of a divisive election season is a holiday that should make us all unite and say thank you to a very special group of people.

Wednesday is Veterans Day, and it gives us a chance to honor nation’s men and women who fought to preserve our freedom and the freedom of those around the world.

The holiday was originally called Armistice Day, and was created by President Woodrow Wilson to celebrate the ending of World War I and honor the Americans who served in that war.

In 1945, World War II veteran Raymond Weeks, from Birmingham, had the idea to expand Armistice Day to celebrate all veterans, not just those who died in World War I. Weeks led a delegation to Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, who supported the idea of National Veterans Day. Weeks led the first national celebration in 1947 in Alabama. The holiday was officially renamed Veterans Day in 1954 and was amended to honor all veterans.

There are veterans right here in Lawrence County who have served in every war this country has fought in since World War II. There are others who are currently in the military fighting the war on terror.

We owe all of those men and women a big thank you. It takes a special person to put their life on the line for people they don’t know and will never meet.

We are lucky to live in a country where we have freedoms that many other countries around the world don’t have. And we have those freedoms because of the men and women who serve in the armed forces. So we take this moment to say thank you for your service. You are what makes this nation great.

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