I wanted to take a moment on Veterans Day to give my heartfelt thanks to all of you who have served or are currently serving in the United States Armed Forces. As a veteran myself, I consider you all to be part of a brotherhood of people who I am proud to belong to. Service to our country began over two centuries ago when the Colonial Army was formed and George Washington led them to victory and our eventual Independence. Thus, patriots of the 18th century began a long tradition, by standing for what the United States of America had the potential to be. In the 200+ years since then, American men and women have carried on the tradition of working to serve the country that has afforded them so many great opportunities and privileges. There is but one day truly set aside as a day to honor those who serve. And today is your day….
I know I am asking for the impossible, but can those of you who always have something bad to say about the United States military simply let the day pass without your remarks or derision of the people who have chosen to serve? I know that it is difficult. I know there are atrocities that you wish to once again point out. I know that you want to simply take another chance to bash the United States military for all the things that you dislike about them. But please don’t. You don’t have to say thanks. You don’t have to offer your support. I am only asking that you let the topic pass with silence.
The Veteran, in my humble opinion, is the very embodiment of the American spirit. It doesn’t matter whether you are a Green Beret or Ranger, S.E.A.L., Recon guy, Cook, medic, engineer, tanker, Electronics technician, pilot, nurse, member of the band, mechanic, sailor, marine, water specialist, or MP. It doesn’t matter whether you are enlisted, officer, or warrant officer. What veterans have in common is the belief in something bigger than themselves. What veterans have in common is the understanding that the great country they were born into offers a great opportunity for liberty and freedom that is not present in many other countries. And because of this understanding they choose to give of themselves. Not for outstanding pay or to do an easy job. They do it because they think the right thing to do is to serve the country for a period of time as a way to contribute to the greatness that is the United States of America.
I offer a few poems dedicated to the veterans in America:
by Brittany Skinner
They were there,
And they remember,
The shock, the horror
Of watching strangers die.
A life ended
By a fellow soldier’s shaking hands.
The unimaginable debt,
Owed by a free world
Can never be repaid,
Still we try
Giving up an hour, a day
To thank you for the burden you now carry
Laid there so we can live our lives.
Enemies with faces
Identities unknown to the bullets
Shattering the protective shield
Laid there by those they loved.
For one day a year we honor you
For our lives,
It can never compare
Still we try
Thanking you on this day
For a million moments
You lived so we could too.
And one other:
By Jared Jenkins
In war, there are lives risked and lives taken
Men and women giving their best to defend what they love
They defend their country
Some call them soldiers
Others call them heroes
Our veterans have risked their lives for us
They have lived through hell and fought with honor
Many have killed
And regret doing so
For every life, there is a soul
For every soul, there is a life
For those who have died, we show great appreciation and remembrance
For those who live, along with them live the horrific memories of battle
Some, memories of defeat
Some, memories of victory
Our veterans were more than soldiers
They were, and still are heroes
So take a moment today and thank the veterans that you know for what they gave or give to their country. Take a moment today to remember those who are no longer here to thank. We take for granted the ability to come together on this blog, discuss our opinions, and question not only those who represent us, but the very government that we live under. We live in the greatest country on earth, with freedoms that other nations simply do not have. And all of these things we owe to those brave men and women who gave all of themselves so that we may continue to live free. No matter where we all fall politically or in terms of our philosophy, we all owe a great deal to those who sacrifice in service to the country.
I want to offer my heartfelt thanks to all the veterans both past and present. You are my brothers and sisters. All Americans are, but you hold a special place in my heart and in the hearts of many other Americans. I want to especially say thank you to my father, a veteran of the Vietnam War. The sacrifices that he gave for our country have taken a toll on you dad, and not enough people take the time to acknowledge what you gave. I will never forget, because you inspired me to be what I am and taught me that nothing worth having comes with no costs.