EFFINGHAM — Ninety-five years ago Monday, Allied and German generals signed an armistice to end what was then known as "The Great War."
President Woodrow Wilson called it "the war to end all wars," but Wilson was proven wrong again and again.
Monday, dozens of people gathered in a cold rain at the Effingham veterans display to mark what is now known as Veterans Day.
"On Veterans Day, we honor every man and woman who has proudly worn the uniform and bravely defended our nation while protecting America from the evils of this world," said keynote speaker Bill Copple of Effingham American Legion Post 120. "Though only a relative few have served, every American, no matter where they live, reaps the benefits of their sacrifice."
Copple acknowledged that times have changed since Nov. 11, 1918.
"In today's world of information overload, with 24-hour cable news stations and social media sites, it's easy for people to get wrapped up in other news and events and forget the importance of not only this day, but the direct impact that veterans have had on their lives," he said.
But Copple urged the crowd to think about what might have happened without the sacrifices that veterans have made over the years.
"You know your life today would be vastly different without their courage and sacrifice," he said.
Copple said present-day military personnel should be remembered, as well as veterans from previous generations.
"...we must not forget the thousands of our best and brightest who are currently deployed all over the world defending our freedoms," he said. "We pray for their safe return, and we stand ready to support their families while they are away."
Copple urged the crowd to support this generation of returning veterans.