On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month World War 1 ended. This was little comfort to Henry Gunther. Henry, an American solider died at 10:59 11/11/18. He was charging a German position in an effort to gain as much territory as possible before the end of the war. The Germans were surprised, the war was supposed to be over. They were not so surprised as to not fight back, which they did, killing Henry.
The negotiations to end WW1 had started on the evening Nov 7th. The Germans wanted an immediate cease fire even begging General Foch for it. It was more important to obtain the significant date of 11-11-11 than to end hostilities. While the armistice wasn't the conclusion of the war it was designed to make the German surrender as humiliating as possible. By the early morning hours of Nov 8th the time, date and terms were agreed upon. The German delegation went home to obtain ratification, believing they had reached a deal in principle.
The allied leadership made a conscience effort to pursue hostilities in the field. It was decided that all force would be brought to bear right up to the very minute the armistice went into effect. Thousands of allied troops died trying to take land the morning of Nov 11th, land that they would be able to walk over freely in the afternoon.
After the war Nov 11th was known as Armistice Day. As time went on it became clear that the "war to end all wars", wasn't. Nov 11th became known as Veterans Day.
I honor our Vets. I honor the training, the boredom and tedium, and the period out of your life you spent in service to our country. I realize you made this choice for your own reasons. I also realize that I enjoy some benefits from your service and I thank you.
I abhor the mindset of our leadership. This is not a reflection on those who are honor bound to obey their orders. I see no reason to believe that the powers that be have become any wiser in the last 95 years, or that human life is held any more dear.