By Eric Pilgrim | Fort Knox NewsNovember 12, 2018
History has been coming in waves of 100s across Fort Knox lately.
It's been 100 years since the Army established the installation. A centennial since the formation of 100th Training Division, which resides here. And now, Veterans Day.
This is no coincidence.
All three are integrally linked -- connected by the Great War: World War I.
Fort Knox was formed, as was 100th Training Division, to support the war effort, which at that time showed little signs of stopping. Veterans Day was conceived in the same war, born as the violence sudden ceased, ushered in at 11 a.m. on Armistice Day; the day the guns fell silent -- 11.11.1918.
Armistice Day was meant to be a temporary ceasefire between the Allied Forces and Germany until they could sort out what to do next. It led to the Treaty of Versailles on June 28, 1919 and to many believing that the actual end of war happened Nov. 11 the previous year. It also led to what would eventually become Veterans Day -- a time to "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," according to President Woodrow Wilson on the first anniversary of the ceasefire.
100 years later, we still remember the sacrifices of the countless men and women who have led our nation to so many victories in our 242-plus year history, and those who have followed them without wavering or regard for their own lives.
It is often said it takes a special person to run toward danger when natural instinct tells us to run away from it.
There are principles that guide these men and women, however -- principles grounded in faith, family and freedom. Principles spelled out through what are commonly known as Army Values. The concepts have become so effective, they have moved beyond the Army classrooms and into corporate board rooms. Loosely spelling leadership, the Army Values encompass Loyalty, Duty, Respect, Selfless Service, Honor, Integrity, and Personal courage.
Those traits that our society likes to celebrate and praise every year during Veterans Day, and even throughout the year for many, can be traced back to one or more, or all, of the Army Values. The Soldiers, Sailors, Airmen and Marines who stand at attention as the president of the United States pins a Congressional Medal of Honor on them certainly have breathed the very essence of them at the celebrated moment of their extraordinary heroism.
Army Values remain our standard, the cut above, the best of all we can be; the measure of what we should be. Army Values thrive beyond duty hours, when no one else is looking or cares to, while others loudly pursue selfish ambition -- the warrior stays focused on the mission, and victory.
100 years ago, our nation celebrated a hard-fought victory. 100 years later, we remember.