Thursday, November 11, 2010

Veterans Day

"When our perils are past, shall our gratitude sleep?
~George Canning




I've been trying to write a post about Veterans Day for about a week now.  But despite the fact that this holiday means so much to me and to other military families, the words just weren't flowing.  There is so much to say about this special day, but I can't seem to find the right words.


When I first sat down to write about Veterans Day, I started wondering what the true meaning of a veteran is.  After asking friends, I realized I'm not the only one asking this question.  Is a veteran someone who once served in our armed forces?  Is a veteran someone who is currently serving?  Is a veteran someone who served our country in both times of war and times of peace?


I also wondered what exactly Veterans Day means.  Of course this day holds a special place in the hearts of military families.  But what does it mean to the general public other than a day off from work?

In my quest to find the answers, I stumbled upon quote after quote about Veterans Day.  But I wanted to share one in particular that seemed to sum it all up:

"A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. That is beyond honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer remember that fact."


So what is a veteran?  What does Veterans Day mean?  A veteran is any man or woman who has worn a uniform, past or present, in times of war or peace.  These are the people we are honoring on Veterans Day, the people we need to thank for their service to our country.  Veterans Day means so much more than simply a day off from work and sales at the mall. 


As we celebrate this Veterans Day, I hope you take a minute to thank a service member.  Whether that person is your grandfather, your husband, your neighbor, or someone you see in uniform at the mall while you're shopping those sales, they deserve our thanks and appreciation for the sacrifices they have made and continue to make for our country.  They are true heroes.


"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."
~John Fitzgerald Kennedy


What does Veterans Day mean to you?  Who are you going to thank today?



3 comments:

  1. I always feel awkward on Veteran's day or any time someone thanks my husband for his service or us for being there too. I know so many more families that have longer deployments, rougher assignments, tougher jobs. We've never experienced a hard-core front-line deployment but we know many who have and have suffered because of it. I feel like we haven't really done anything to earn anyone's thanks. I think my thanks go to the people that DO make those amazing sacrifices and the friends, family, and workers that share their compassion and love as servicemembers and their families live through horrible experiences then pick up the pieces and do it again. Thank you!

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  2. The exact definition isn't important. Its the people who have been WILLING to give it up and for those who have done so.

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  3. Wow, what a beautiful post. ANd I really love this quote esp, "A Veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life. That is beyond honor, and there are way too many people in this country who no longer remember that fact." Thank you for writing this. Before I married someone who was in the military, I really didn't have a real understanding or appreication for the sacrafice that all soldiers make for the greater good of everyone. And I'm so grateful that there are veterans who are willing to make this amazing sacrafice and give all of us such an incredible gift.

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