Yesterday marked the 93rd observance of Veteran’s Day. While this holiday means that many of us get to enjoy a three day weekend, we shouldn’t ignore the reason behind the shortened work week.
On November 11th, 1919, President Woodrow Wilson first proclaimed Armistice Day (which was later changed to Veteran’s Day).
“To us in America, the reflections of Armistice Day will be filled with solemn pride in the heroism of those who died in the country’s service and with gratitude for the victory, both because of the thing from which it has freed us and because of the opportunity it has given America to show her sympathy with peace and justice in the councils of the nations.” – Woodrow Wilson
For me, Veteran’s Day, much like Memorial Day, is a reminder of the price that is paid for my freedom. However, unlike Memorial Day, Veteran’s Day is also a happy occasion. One where I get the opportunity to recognize and thank those that keep me free. This is really something that I should do all year long, but for whatever reason I always fall short. And it’s not like I need to look very far to find a veteran; my family is filled with them!
My grandfather was in the military (Army I believe), my Dad’s retired Air Force, my brother a Marine, all of my uncles (except one) on both sides, and more cousins than I can count on my fingers and toes have all given pieces of their lives to keep us free. We’ve covered all branches of the military and I’m one very humbled girl to be part of such a wonderful and patriotic family.
I realize that I’m a day late, but today, I encourage you to go out of your way to thank a veteran. Let them know how much you appreciate them and what they have done for you. So often they go unthanked. An incredibly easy way to do this is to go through your Facebook or Twitter friend list and send a quick thank you to your friends that have served in the military. If you want to get more personal than social media, stop and shake a veteran’s hand or pay for their cup of coffee when you hit up Starbucks. Older veteran’s are pretty identifiable between their haircuts and military ball caps they like to wear. But don’t forget to thank the younger vets, too! Due to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, we have a significant increase of vets in their 20s and 30s.
Question: Have you thanked a vet yet? If not, what are you waiting for? It’s not too late!