Our country has a lot of freedoms; freedom that isn’t necessarily found all across the world. Freedoms have been expressed this week that some agree with and some do not. First, we were free to worship with the church of our choosing on Sunday to kick off our week. You were also free to skip if you so desired. Secondly, we were free to go to the polls and cast our votes on Tuesday. Third, we were free to celebrate or protest a victory. And fourth, we are free to honor the men and women who helped us gain and keep these freedoms.
Personally, I choose to honor the sacrifice of so many on Veteran’s Day. It’s not easy serving a nation. Men and women are often separated from the ones that they love for long periods of time. Many times they are sent into foreign lands to help protect the freedoms of others and stay at risk for losing their lives sometimes on a daily basis. Many times those who serve see horrors that you and I probably don’t even want to imagine in death and destruction. The food is not the best, weather conditions are no excuse for not doing their job, and at times sleeping quarters are not something the average American would accept. The men and women who serve know when they enlist in the military that they are signing up to protect our right to worship freely, our right to vote, even our right to protest, but they also enlist knowing they may lose their lives while trying to protect others.
That is a sacrifice worth honoring.
“No one has greater love than this, that someone would lay down his life for his friends.”
I ask you to take a break today. Stop and think of the veteran’s who have served in peacetime as well as war. Think of the men and women who are serving right now.
How can you pay tribute soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen?
Here are 10 ways you can salute and honor a Veteran today:
1. At 11 a.m., observe a moment of silence for those who’ve fought and died while in service to the country
2. Display an American flag
3. Attend a Veterans Day parade
4. Thank a vet for his/her service
5. Send a letter to troops through the US Department of Defense Website
6. Work in a homeless shelter or soup kitchen
7. Visit a veteran’s grave or pick up trash at a veterans cemetery
8. Visit with the family of a veteran who’s serving overseas
9. Visit with a wounded vet at a local VA facility
10. Donate to the USO, the American Legion, Veterans of Foreign Wars USA or other organizations that honor and assist vets.
Today I am taking time to celebrate my own Veteran. Not only did my Audley serve five years in the US Navy as a submariner, he also served in our Army National Guard for eighteen months!
“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