Each year on November 11, we take the time to remember the men and women who have served our country. This may come in the form of a well-organized evening at home with loved ones, or perhaps it’s only a brief pause over the breakfast table while reading the morning paper. However you choose, or just happen to spend the holiday, chances are you will hear the word veteran and — as is the case with national days of remembrance — it will give you pause.
Since the end of World War I in 1918, Veterans Day (formerly Armistice Day) has been an annual national tradition. But, while routine, it’s important to also reflect on why we take this time to honor our vets.
It’s been said before but it bears repeating: these are men and women who have put their lives on the line in defense of our country and everything it stands for; men and women who have pushed their bodies and minds to extreme limits, left loved ones back home to travel half way around the world, often to unfamiliar places, only to face difficult decisions and life-altering predicaments.
Wherever you stand on the political scene and whatever your thoughts on war and conflict, these men and women have experienced an emotional spectrum more intense and varied than most, to a degree anyone who has never been in combat cannot possibly comprehend.
We honor them for their sacrifice. But, more importantly, we respect the tough decisions they have at times been forced to make. They made tough choices so we didn’t have to.
So tomorrow, on 11/11/11, let’s all be sure to tell the veterans “thank you” any way we.