Today is Veteran’s Day. It is a day that once was much more celebrated than it is today. Indeed, we live in a country in which so many people forget that so many sacrificed for our freedoms. Indeed, there are so many who still do.
Veterans are easy to find. One could be your grandfather or the old neighbor who lives down the street. It might you dad or mother, your uncle, brother or sister. Veterans are co workers, spouses, and even sons and daughters. They are all around us, the men and women who stood up and stood post guarding our freedom.
But, with each passing Veterans Day, America seems to forget that. Most schools will be in session. A smaller number of cities will have parades or ceremonies. Indeed, Americans just seem unplugged from the idea that so many are still fighting for freedom in places like Afghanistan and Iraq. Further, more and more Americans seem even more removed from the truth that the freedoms that we enjoy came from the service and sacrifice of military members and their families.
VUI includes families, because in today’s military, especially, families are hit hard by service. Many a good military service member has to face multiple deployments in today’s military. That leaves their families with a missing place at the dinner table, or a missing parent at a play or ball game.
Some will not come back. Others will but never be the same. Whether they served years ago, or serve today, the veterans of the United States are owed a debt of respect for their service in protecting the freedom of the United States.
A few years ago, I had a conversation with a veteran who has since passed away. I took notes because I had a notion of writing about him and those who served with him. I haven’t, because I did not think my poor writing skills could do their service justice. But, one line he said stands out. He told me it was fitting to remember the fallen, but went on to say, “we got remember those who killed and come home and had to live with that killing.” It was a remark that haunts me to this day. Because so many died, but even more killed and live with that.
Service in the military is not easy, even for those that never see enemy fire. We should never let that service be a thankless job. So, today, seek out a veteran, shake his or her hand, and thank them for their service to our country.
Thank you veterans. Here's a tribute from country artist Toby Keith.