Today, there are roughly 18 million veterans in the United States. And to them, we owe a tremendous debt of gratitude, one we can never expect to repay with a designated day each year.
And while many of these men and women may consider their sacrifices merely a duty to their nation, we should never let them off that easy. Regardless of within wartime or not, their contributions played an essential role in our nation’s leadership worldwide.
Some of my earliest memories include standing along a parade route as groups of veterans washed by in waves of brass bands, oversized flags and those around me raising their arms in salute or applause.
And if pressed, I’d have to say the skies were always a brighter shade of blue, the weather a crisp 75 degrees.
These moments, for a young kid on the sidelines, were nothing short of magical.
The world has changed. Today, we tend to acknowledge the sacrifices of veterans with less celebration, less fanfare. It is as if we’ve forgotten what an important role our veterans play in preserving our way of life.
Service is not a vocation but rather a critical pillar in how our nation serves our nation and the world.
Today, the number of war veterans is declining at a rapid pace. And while time may not be on the side of those who served in World War II, Korea or Vietnam, we as a nation should make a more vigorous effort to salute and honor all who served our country.
This year, please take the time to seek out or notice a veteran, offer your thanks and provide a COVID-friendly thumbs-up or elbow bump.
And for those veterans out there, thank you for your service and know our nation values your sacrifices — may God Bless you.