As American citizens, we wake each day to a new opportunity to better our lives, to provide for our families, to seek the individual happiness that defines each of us. Too often we take the freedom that enables such liberties for granted – liberties that were the dreams of our nation’s forefathers.
Veterans are selfless by nature. They put their lives on hold and at risk to preserve our forefathers’ dreams. With their conviction, courage and valor they write a check to The United States of America. The amount reads, “life”. Their bodies and limbs are served up as collateral for those who are too weak or too afraid to protect our country.
Many of the veterans were probably once afraid too, yet their fears were overcome by an unwavering patriotism. The foundation of our nation is built upon the quintessential martyrdom of their amazingly altruistic souls.
Life was taken, limbs were broken. They endured immense pain, hunger, the loss of brothers fighting for the same cause, yet their determination remained steadfast.
The families of our veterans made sacrifices too. Their lives were altered by the sacrifices of their beloved ones, our beloved soldiers – sometimes altered beyond repair, and left in tatters.
In today’s world, we give more attention to Black Friday, Valentine’s Day and Halloween than we do Veterans Day. A veteran might even say that such freedoms of choice are in part why they so valiantly served. Such unselfishness defines who they are.
Thanksgiving is less than two weeks away – a day during which we take time to reflect upon our many blessings. Our veterans are among the most cherished of those blessings.
Today and during the weekend ahead, celebrate these beautiful people. Appreciate what they’ve done. If you know a veteran or see one, live with one or love one, take the time to extend sincere gratitude. Open your heart and soul as you look them dead in the eye, and say, “Thank you!”
Given their selflessness, such a simple gesture will go a long way towards inspiring active servicemen and women to continue their mission, or, it may be the only thing a retired vet needs to see beyond his or her broken body, smile, and shed a tear of joy.
Thank you to all veterans, young and old, here and gone. Thank you to their wonderful families.
We would never be what we are without your willingness to serve with honor.
We would never be The United States of America.