Monday is the day we remember all who have served in our armed forces, especially those who have fallen.

It is a day when our nation's protectors are honored in school assemblies and parades. It is a day when we stop to shake the hands of soldiers, to thank them for their sacrifices. It is a day when we spend a little extra time with veterans just to let them know how much we appreciate their contributions. The focus of the day is peace, not war.

Today's Courier features a story about World War II veteran Robert Binzer. Now 91, he vividly recalls his service days in China.

Next week, we'll feature more stories about veterans and we'll have full coverage of the veterans ceremonies throughout the area.

Some wonder why we celebrate on Nov. 11th. It was on Nov. 11, 1918, at 11 in the morning, when the guns of World War I fell silent. Millions lay dead in the wake of that horrific war. So crippling was this struggle that world leaders actually spoke of the possibility of war never happening again. It was, to use the familiar term, the war to end all wars.

Nov. 11 warns us not to forget history.

In a 1953 speech to newspaper editors President Dwight D. Eisenhower, a former five-star general, said: "Every gun that is made, every warship launched, every rocket fired signifies, in the final sense, a theft from those who hunger and are not fed, those who are cold and are not clothed. This world in arms is not spending money alone. It is spending the sweat of its laborers, the genius of its scientists, the hopes of its children. ... This is not a way of life at all, in any true sense." 

Unfortunately, our young men and women will be called to go to war. But if this day has any message, it is to remind us of war's human costs.

On this Veterans Day, think not only of our soldiers in harm's way and the sacrifice of millions in the past, but pray that we learn to live in peace.