U.S. troops used to return from foreign wars to ticker-tape parades and joyous celebrations. That’s how it was in November 1918, when much of the world cheered the end of World War I. One year later, on Nov. 11, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson issued a proclamation celebrating Armistice Day, which in 1938 became a legal holiday.
Now, 102 years after the end of the “war to end all wars,” ticker-tape parades are generally reserved for sports championships, when a city celebrates winning a Super Bowl, Stanley Cup or other title.
On this Veterans Day, even the more modest parades usually held to salute our former troops will be sidelined due to the coronavirus pandemic. However, our veterans deserve more than a free meal at a national restaurant chain or a few obligatory “thank you for your service” greetings as they walk down the street.