Once Upon A Time In Northern France...

The Story of Veterans Day

As a military surplus store, we have a deep connection to both the active duty and veteran community. Whether it's customers, suppliers, and even employees, we work with with a lot of vets. And a lot of their used stuff.

Many businesses don't necessarily make these "bank holidays" very interesting. In fact, most just end up closing for the day — Many have forgotten or maybe never learned the history & meaning behind Veterans Day.

To figure that out, we need to go back to 1918, in the final hours of World War I.

"Armistice Day"

In the early hours of 11th of November 1918, in the forests of Northern France, an armistice was signed to bring The Great War to a close.

According to the treaty, hostilities would end on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918.

And they really took that seriously. Last-ditch fighting took place with nearly 3,000 losing their lives up until the very last second of World War I.

Even then, true "Peace" wasn't ratified on paper until early 1920 after the Treaty of Versailles was signed in the Palais' hall of mirrors.

Of course, what happened in the next few decades was anything but peace.

A period of unprecedented instability for much of the world occurred. Economies were fragile, families were broken, and it only lead to an arguably worse conflict in the end.

"Splendid Forgetfulness"

As President Wilson put it at the time, The Great War was fought in "Splendid forgetfulness" — people dropped everything in their daily lives, whatever the motive might have been, to go fight in the war and [most likely] die for a greater cause.

Over 100 years later, President Wilson's notion of "Splendid forgetfulness" still holds true.

While the stakes certainly weren't what they were in 1917 or 1944, many people still drop everything to do what they believe must be done.

People join the military for a variety of reasons in the USA. Some do it for career building, others because they feel their life has hit a dead end, all having the awareness that it's for a greater cause that they just might end up dying for.

Pictured: Anna Coleman Ladd paitning a mask for a disfigured veteran who suffered from "Shell Shock" following World War I.

Veterans Day

In 1954, US Congress amended the name of the holiday, replacing "Armistice Day" with "Veterans Day".

Reflecting on the original intent, we think it's rather fitting that we pay tribute more to those who served instead of the guys on that one railway carraige in the forest who "ended" the war.

For over a decade, our bread and butter has been military surplus — an overwhelming majority of which is used.

Essentially, we're handling stuff that now-veterans used, and have given it a new life by getting it to our customers (many of which are veterans).

Most Everything We've Sold Has A Story...

A young lad's very first day in bootcamp.

A grueling training regiment with your country's best men.

A bone-chilling winter patrol, far from home.

One of our core missions as a business is sharing these stories with veterans and non veterans alike.

We're happy that by selling surplus from every corner of the globe, we're able to do that in a way that goes beyond word of mouth.

Give the product descriptions a read when you're here on KommandoStore to see all the historical nuggets we've shared over the years, and if you know a veteran, ask if they have any tales to tell too...