From Armistice to Internet

An American veteran can look up a lost buddy on the Internet for a fee of $15, the price of 300 five-cent movies (though not in constant nickels) on a military base during World War II. Also somewhere in cyberspace is a registry of "civilian" veterans honoring nonmilitary personnel who served US troops.

We footnote such changes on the brink of the Nov. 11 holiday that at first commemorated the end of World War I and was called Armistice Day, as it still is in Britain. The idea of armistice remained when Congress in 1954 decided to honor all former members of US armed services with Veterans Day, "a day dedicated to world peace." And men and women entering service today are likely to become veterans of peacekeeping more than warmaking.

Meanwhile, postelection America salutes Bob Dole, perhaps the last WWII veteran to run for president; incoming Sen. Max Cleland (D) of Georgia, one of many Vietnam vets assuming political roles; and some 26 million other Americans who have done their bit to guard freedom.

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