On November 11, 1918, at 11 a.m., the First World War ended with a powerful flash of artillery, and then the guns, which had been blazing for more than four years, fell silent. More than 9 million men, including 117,000 Americans, lay dead and much of Europe in ruins.

In 1919, to commemorate the end of the First World War, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Armistice Day. He said the day would be “filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the service of the country and gratitude for the victory”. However, Armistice Day was not a nationally recognized holiday until Congress ratified it in 1938. In 1954, after the United States took part in more armed conflicts during World War II and the Korean War, Congress changed the name to Veterans Day to honor all service members and related associations.

Not to be confused with Memorial Day, which honors those who gave their lives for this country, Veterans Day is for the more than 19 million veterans who have faithfully served in times of war or peace.

This Veterans Day is especially poignant for me and my family. On April 20 of this year, my father-in-law, Korean War veteran Thomas Epling passed away at the proud age of 91. I am so grateful to have had him as my stepfather for 16 wonderful years and that my son Weston had a very close relationship with his “Papaw”.

One of the things Weston enjoyed the most was hearing Thomas recount his wartime exploits as a combat medic and his battles on “Old Baldy” and many other far off places. In this modern world where photographs and information are available at the touch of a button, I can only imagine both the fear and the sense of adventure for a 21-year-old farm boy torn from his family farm near from Breaks, Virginia, and sent halfway around the world to fight for a country he had never heard of. Yet he didn’t complain and did his duty like so many other young Americans before and since.

On this Veterans Day, many businesses will close their doors to observe the struggles and sacrifices of our country’s best. While many of you may enjoy your day off, I encourage you to take a moment to reflect on the efforts of our men and women in uniform, past and present. If your local community is hosting a Veterans Day Parade, as many do, I encourage you to attend this special experience and convey your appreciation to the military in person. Honor the often-lowered American flag, and observe the two-minute period of silence at 11 a.m.

Shorter days and colder temperatures signal fall and the impending arrival of the holiday season.

The 2022 interim period for your part-time legislator is also coming to an end; the joint commissions and special working groups are preparing for their final meetings. Kentucky residents of communities across the bluegrass have done or will do their civic duty by visiting their local polling place and voting for those they wish to represent them with local, state and federal authorities. After exercising our sacred right to vote on November 8, we celebrate the individuals who stand up for the unique rights of American citizens.

The Senate is actively preparing for the 2023 regular session. If you have any questions or concerns about what to expect or what you would like your legislators to focus on when we meet again, please contact my office and make your voice heard. . As always, it is an honor to represent you and the American ideals we hold dear in Frankfurt.