Today, President Donald Trump stood together with the leaders of countries that ended the most transformative war in human history exactly 100 years ago.
The rest of the world calls this Armistice Day. In America, however, we mark the end of World War One with “Veterans’ Day,” a holiday dedicated to the American warriors whose bravery enabled the free world to exist — and still does today.
President Trump’s dedication to American veterans stems from the debt of gratitude we and the rest of the free world owe American fighting men and women. A full century after the events that gave rise to Veterans’ Day, let’s remember where that debt comes from.
One hundred years ago today in a boxcar in France, the German high command capitulated completely. The victory ended the most destructive war the world had ever seen and cemented democracy and freedom as a system all the world’s people would revere and emulate.
When America entered the war in 1917, the situation was desperate for our French and British allies. The outcome of the war was by no means certain.
One in every 20 French soldiers had already died at the front and their soldiers couldn’t take it any longer. The French Army was weeks away from open rebellion after being thrown into yet another futile attack on German lines.
“J’attends les chars et les américains (I am waiting for the tanks and the Americans),” the new French commander-in-chief Gen. Philippe Petain said about the mutiny.
The situation was desperate for our new French and British allies.
Things turned the corner when the Americans entered the fray, however.
“Nous voila, Lafayette!” (“Lafayette, we are here!”) American Lt. Col. Charles Stanton said as the first American troops arrived in France in the summer of 1917. The expected flood of Americans onto the Western Front convinced the Germans their only hope to win the war was an “all-or-nothing” push in the spring of 1918.
Americans helped bog down and crush that Spring Offensive the most bloody and brutal fighting of the entire war, then they forced the Germans into surrender as part of the “100 Days Offensive.”
Winston Churchill, who was the British Minister of Munitions at the time, would later write that “the moral consequence of the United States joining the Allies was indeed the deciding cause in the conflict,” and that “the war would have ended in a peace by negotiation, or, in other words, a German victory.”
The allied victory wouldn’t have been possible without the involvement of the United States.
Exactly 100 years ago, that contribution helped create the modern world.
President Trump is standing with French President Macron and other European and British allies, as the world commemorates the great armistice and the millions of soldiers and citizens of all nations who died.
We in America, however, have always used this day to say thank you to the men and women who made it possible in 1918 and time and again in the decades since.
President Trump has made it a priority for his administration to make good on the debt we and the whole world owe American veterans. He’s completely overhauled the failed Veterans Affairs system by signing into law bills that right the wrongs of the past.
Most importantly, however, President Trump gave VA administrators the power to fire underperforming employees faster and more effectively. Since signing the VA Accountability Act, the Trump administration has already fired more than 1,700 VA employees who failed our veterans.
Today, the whole world remembers the sacrifices that ended the horror of the war that created the modern world. Let us not forget that the need for sacrifice is not past — not even 100 years later. Neither has the need for gratitude and the care we owe all of our veterans.
Steven Rogers is a retired U.S. Navy intelligence officer and a former member of the FBI National Joint Terrorism Task Force. He is a member of the Donald J. Trump for President 2020 Campaign Advisory Board.
The views and opinions expressed in this commentary are those of the author and do not reflect the official position of The Daily Caller.