Veterans all across the nation celebrated the 100th anniversary of the end of World War I by ringing a bell, on Sunday. In honor of those who fought in the war, KX News spoke with veterans at the North Dakota Heritage Center & State Museum on what this day meant to them.
One hundred years might seem like a very long time ago, but for veteran Alan Johnson, it’s a day to pay homage.
“You cant describe it, it’s just unique. We live in a good country,” Johnson said.
It’s the day WWI ended. Johnson knows first hand what it’s like to put his life on the line, he has done it for over two decades.
“I have served 21 years in the United States Air Force. I have served a lot of places such as Minot, Wyoming, Alaska, Thailand, and Vietnam,” Johnson said.
Now, veterans remember the 4.7 million Americans who gave their lives in defense of freedom in the great war.
“The reason they ring the bell 11 times is because it represents the 11th day on the 11th hour, November in 1918,” Johnson said.
While there are reasons to celebrate this day, for some it brings painful memories.
“It’s tough, my grandad’s younger brother John died in the Argonne Forest in WWI,” said Howard Tweeten, veteran.
As for Johnson, he uses his experiences to help motivate and educate others.
More than 1,400 North Dakotans gave their lives in WWI.