SERVING OUR VETERANS: My Veterans Day message
In just a couple of days we will once again be observing Veterans Day. As you are aware, on this day we remember and honor all past and present veterans who have served or are serving our country today. Unlike Memorial Day, where we remember those who have died while serving in our country during times of war, on Veterans Day we thank all veterans who have served our country, both in peace time and in war. Since the founding of our country, our veterans have stood tall, defended our land and preserved the freedoms and liberties we enjoy and cherish as American citizens. Veterans Day is a reminder of what we have and a day to express our humble gratitude and appreciation to our veterans for what they have done for us.
Almost 250 years ago, George Washington, our first Commander-In-Chief, spoke these words: “The willingness which our young people are likely to serve in any war, no matter how justified, shall be directly proportional to how they perceive the veterans of earlier wars were treated and appreciated by their nation.” To be truthful, our country has done well at this at times, and not so well at others. Certainly, the Vietnam War is a prime example of a time we let our veterans down. Although in recent years we have tried to correct this failure, which is a good thing, some veterans still feel it came 50 years too late. Hopefully the day will come, through unity, forgiveness, and reconciliation; these wounds will again be healed as well. Since the terrorist attack on our land on September 11, 2001, the appreciation shown for our veterans has been much greater, on par with our country’s feelings for our World War II veterans. This is a good thing and hopefully this will always continue to be the case. For we have learned that those men and women who have served our country in the military only followed orders, did their duty, and did what their country asked of them. They were not part of the politics and rationale of the decisions made by our leaders.
So, I encourage all of you to attend our Veterans Day program and I ask you to stand together, to stand united, and say:
– On this day, I will commit myself to always demonstrating my support, my gratitude, and my appreciation to all veterans who have served our country, both in times of war and peace.
– On this day, I will remember the freedoms I enjoy in this great land of ours and remember who, through their duty and sacrifice, won them for me.
– On this day, I will teach my children and grandchildren about love of country, patriotism, respect for our flag and ways to remember and honor all our veterans.
– On this day, I will live my life in a way that honors the sacrifices made by our veterans, and live my life in a way that is worthy for all they have won and done for us.
My hope is that when we say “on this day,” it is not only on Veterans Day, but every day as we live out our daily lives in gratitude and with thankful hearts.
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