Wednesday, November 11, 2015

How we can thank our Veterans

                                 Thank you, Veterans!

Veterans Day doesn't get the pomp and circumstance of some other holidays. But every year on November 11, we as Americans take the time to recognize the heroes among us. They are the men and women who served in our armed forces. They are the veterans of the United States military.

But how do you say thank you to millions of people who have given up years away from friends and family, often in extremely challenging and perilous conditions?

I like the way President John F. Kennedy put it when he said, “As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” 

May we all do that: not only express our gratitude but show it to living veterans and current military members. From public gestures like picking up the restaurant tab for a soldier, to the more silent acts like praying for our military members and their families, who also make so many sacrifices while their loved ones serve in dangerous parts of the world. From simply saying thank you when we meet a veteran or when we pass a uniformed soldier in the store, to demanding that our politicians adequately fund our military - which has been absolutely gutted - to ensure not only that their basic needs are generously met, but that they are well supplied with the ultimate protection while they fight the battles they dutifully fight. And at the very least, let's clean up our Veterans Administration, and especially focus on giving our veterans the quality healthcare and support they so richly deserve. It's a disgrace that we don't.

More than anything, let’s show our thanks by committing ourselves to living the values upon which this country was founded. The values of freedom and self-responsibility, while helping our neighbors in need; the values of faith, hard work and moral character. The values our brave soldiers have always fought and continue to fight to protect. 

Let’s not allow these values to slip away from our own hands while our men and women in uniform risk their lives to uphold the values that have made America exceptional. We’re all in this together, because as another famous saying goes, “United we stand, divided we fall.” Let’s stand behind our military as they stand up for us, and let's stand united for our country. Together, America thrives.

Thank you, veterans, past, present and future, and thank you, all active military. What a difference you have made and continue to make. God bless you all.

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