Remember themThough yesterday was the actual day, today is the official holiday for Veterans Day this year. In thinking of today, it is easy to say "let us recall those men and women who have served our country in uniform, and those who paid the ultimate price"-that is especially easy to say in time of war, no matter your personal feelings on the conflict at hand.
What have veterans done for us? Recall in 2000 when we had the first of two divisive and hotly-contested national elections, many people took to the streets and protested for or against the outcome-they did so largely in peace. There were no riots, no calls for a military junta to take control of the country, and for all of our (very legitimate) discussion on the evils of the PATRIOT Act, this country has yet to become Pakistan-our leaders did not then and have not now taken to the air to announce that the machinery of the democratic process is to be brought to a grinding halt.
This is due in no small part to the reality that for the last 231 years, veterans from every corner of the land have served when asked, and being well-trained by the country and the government that sent them into combat, they often went with a higher calling than merely to fight. They went fighting because they believed in a free America, some of them would fight even their own government to keep America free.
They have sacrificed so that we would not live under Nazism or Communism, and are in the field even now fighting terrorism. When you hear someone tell you to remember to thank a veteran today, it is the least that we can do-we owe them so much more than platitudes.
May we remember them every day, from the rising to the setting of the sun.