Something of a change today, there will be no mention of partisan political bickering, political scandal, or anything of the like. Today, along with Memorial day, is one of the most important days of the year to me. Sure, they are many holidays a year, but today is one of the rare ones whose sole purpose is the honoring some of the finest among us, veterans.
I personally keep this holiday rather high on my list because of the many veterans I have met in my life and the many stories they have told me over the years, all of which instilled in me a sense of awe and respect from even a young age. These range from family members, teachers, classmates, and even perfect strangers I have met at restaurants or while at work. And while they come from very different backgrounds, these brave men/women all share one thing in common...When our nation needed them, they fought not just for themselves or their families, they fought for all Americans.
I find it strangely ironic that I recently felt the urge to re-watch the Band of Brothers mini-series, just days before Veterans Day. I personally have watched the series several times and it never gets "old" to me. And no matter what, the words of Dick Winters at the end of the series always strike me..
"I cherish the memories of a question my grandson asked me the other day when he said, 'Grandpa, were you a hero in a war?', grandpa said 'No, but I served in a company of heroes.' "
It has always amazed me how humble the many veterans I have met over the years are about their service, often simply saying they were just doing their job or that the real heroes where the ones who never came home. To me, they are ALL heroes and are the finest of us all and as a nation we should never forget the great risks and sacrifices our veterans had to make.
As such, I would like to say Thank You and God Bless to all veterans for their service and hope that their example inspires all Americans to serve their nation in what ever function they can, whether it be in military service (as I will soon do) or helping out in your community. Today is not just a day to honor the veterans themselves, but also the ideals they fought for.
I leave you with one of my favorites quotes, courtesy President John F. Kennedy:
"As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them."