November 11, is Veterans Day. Some people observe it, some people get a day off because of it and some people really dont know what to do with it. Many mistakenly understand this holiday as recognizing those who served in war but this day is about peacetime and wartime. Its about duty, honor, service and being prepared regardless of the worlds circumstances.
What it Isn’t
• Doesnt specifically recognize any single war/conflict
• Doesn’t distinguish between peacetime and war
• Isn’t about those who died any more than those who live(d)
• Isn’t a uniquely United States recognition (It’s called Armistice Day in Europe)
What it Is
• A time for people to note veterans and the contributions both on and off the battlefield.
• A time for appreciating those who stood watch in peacetime, and even today stand firm in war.
How can YOU recognize Veterans Day?
Thanking those that currently serve or have served - For those currently serving, thank them for standing watch and for the protection they provide in the name of your freedom and security. Thank a parent, sibling or child of these men and women for the sacrifice that THEY bear in the name of our freedom. Consider all the veterans around you or better yet ask your coworkers who has served, it may surprise you. Ask about their time, what they’ve seen or experienced and what Veterans Day means to them.
Thanking those we’ve lost - Attend a service, place a flag, stand and put your hand over your heart when the flag passes at the parade for it carries the spirit of the price that was paid. Again recognize the family members who have lost a member in service. Remembering that in the pain that they may feel, your thanks may be the difference in knowing that their loss means something more to someone other than them alone.
Veterans are all around you, they’ve served for a short time or full careers, in a time of peace and in a time of unspeakable wartime horror. They are people you’d expect or a braveness of character that comes wrapped in the skin of someone you’d least imagine.
If you know of a veteran, you can simply say ‘Thank you for your service’. While this unassuming phrase may seem empty or awkward, to one who has served, knowing what they did is appreciated and recognized by others is a great feeling.