Depending on your interest/knowledge of history you may or may not know this, but here goes (courtesy of http://www1.va.gov/opa/vetsday/vetdayhistory.asp)
November 11, 1918 is generally regarding as the end of "the war to end all wars", World War I. Although the war officially ended with the siging of the Treaty of Versailles on June 28,1919, the fighting ceased seven months earlier when an armistice, or temporary cessation of hostilities, between the Allied nations and Germany went into effect on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. In November 1919 President Wilson proclaimed November 11 as the first commemoration of Armistice Day with the following words: "To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations…" The original concept for the celebration was for a day observed with parades and public meetings and a brief suspension of business beginning at 11:00 a.m. In 1954, "Armistice Day" a day primarily set aside to honor veterans of World War I, was renamed Veterans day in order to honor veterans of all wars. The change was brought about by the World War II and the greatest mobilization of soldiers, sailors, Marines and airmen in the Nation’s history and after American forces fought aggression in Korea.
So, today, on Veteran's Day, thank a veteran who has served and/or thank one who is serving now.
Here are a few ways.
Operation Gratitude http://www.opgratitude.com/from_iraq.php
Let's Say Thanks http://www.letssaythanks.com/Home1280.html
You can send cards/letters/packages to anysoldier.com to insure that soldiers without loved ones here in the states also receive encouragement.
And finally, a poem written by a soldier during World War II set to music recently by John Gorka, one of my favorite artists. Someone has added images. It's very touching.