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Nov 11, 2009 7:40 PM by Matt Stafford

Celebrating our bravest

Veterans Day was originally Armistice Day to celebrate the cease-fire in World War One. Later the holiday was changed to honor veterans of all wars.

Today the tradition is living on in Southern Colorado. Today is a day to say thank you to our troops, past and present.

We're seeing some of that around Colorado Springs.

Today saw free washes for military at Water Works cars wash.

"It's just our way of honoring them and saying thanks for being a big part of our history here," says Rich Fernandez, manager of Water Works.

"I think it's a nice thing on their part and I hope they continue this in the future," says Boyd Ely, who is retired from service in the Army. "This is a nice day for veterans all the way around."

Also, some took advantage of free meals at Applebee's.

"It's a way to show them that hey we miss them we want them to come back," says Applebee's manager Pete Deboer. "They're a part of our neighborhood so we want to make sure they feel a part of our neighborhood."

However, a more formal ceremony honoring our soldiers is a given.

For the last 30 years, the Veterans Remembrance Ceremony has been of the larger ones in the region.

Darrell Levitt, chairman of the Pikes Peak Veterans Council says, "All the different organizations in town were holding their own and so it (the veteran community) was fragmented."

Now the Pikes Peak Veterans Council hosts 42 veterans' organizations to celebrate Veterans Day together.

"We're estimating about 500 people here today, and that's pretty typical for this venue," says Levitt.

So whether through a salute, a pat on the back, a free car wash or a meal, today is the day we're reminded to say what our bravest deserve to hear every day.

Under tradition, the ceremony at the Retired Enlisted Association held a moment of silence on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month. This symbolizes when World War One officially ended, November 11th, 1918.

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