Veterans Day is Monday, and Martha’s Vineyard will join its counterparts around the state and country in observing the national holiday.

On the Island the observance includes a small-town parade and color guard that winds its way along the Oak Bluffs waterfront, beginning at the harbor and ending at Ocean Park.

A commentary in today’s edition by Herb Foster, one of the Vineyard’s last surviving members of the Greatest Generation, highlights the lasting impacts of military service in the lives of the many men and women who served their country, both at home and in far-flung foreign wars.

The Veterans Day observance began as official recognition of the armistice that ended the first modern global conflict, World War I. In declaring November 11 as a day to be celebrated as Armistice Day, Congress resolved in 1926: “It is fitting that the recurring anniversary of this date should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”

But peace among nations did not endure, and after the second great World War and the Korean conflict, the holiday took on a new resonance.

President Eisenhower issued the first Veterans Day proclamation in 1954. That year Congress renamed the Armistice Day holiday, and it has been Veterans Day ever since. For a brief period during the 1970s, Veterans Day was rescheduled as a Monday holiday, but the significance of the November 11 date — the eleventh day in the eleventh month — was simply too compelling and so the holiday has been observed on its proper date since 1978.

It is fitting that this national holiday, set aside to honor our veterans for their love of country and willingness to serve and sacrifice for the common good, should be observed on the day when an agreement among nations brought one of history’s bloodiest conflicts to an end.

And even as we honor our veterans, Monday is a day to remember that there is precious little to be celebrated in war.

As we pay tribute to our nation’s heroes, we must rededicate ourselves to the cause of peace.