November is a special time of year. The leaves begin changing, the fall becomes winter, and there is plenty of great football on television. Every November, our nation takes a day to give thanks for the blessings God has given us.
But November is also the month when we take a day to honor America’s veterans and to thank them for their service and sacrifice.
Veterans’ Day has been a holiday in our country since 1919. That year, President Woodrow Wilson proclaimed November 11 as Veterans’ Day in recognition of those who had fought in World War I. While the war did not officially end until June of 1919, combat ended on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when the armistice agreement signed by the warring nations went into effect.
Every year we set aside two days to honor our nations warriors – Veterans’ Day and Memorial Day. But while Memorial Day is set aside specifically to honor those who died in service to our country, Veterans’ Day is set aside to recognizing all those who have served our country, whether in wartime or peacetime.
Our veterans have sacrificed a lot so that we can enjoy our freedom and security. Many gave their lives, while others lost limbs or suffered from psychological wounds. They have sacrificed their youths and time with their families in service to our country.
But our veterans are not the only ones who sacrificed for our country. Their families gave up precious time with their loved ones while they were serving overseas. Many of these families would never see their loved ones again, while others would have to cope along with their veterans as they learned how to readjust to life back at home or adjust to living with the wounds they suffered from their wars.
To have freedom and democracy is a precious gift that came at a heavy price. And because of the sacrifices made by our veterans and their families, we are now the most powerful country in the world. We are the country that other nations look to for leadership. We are the country that others come to in their hour of need.
God has been good to us. He has given us many blessings. But the greatest blessing our country has received is not our economy or international influence. Our greatest blessing is the people who have put on the uniform and stood up for our country.
Most of us have a family member or friend who has served in the military. On November 11, I hope you will take a moment to thank that person and any other veteran you meet that day for what they have done for our country.
If you know someone who lost a loved one in service to our country, take a moment to thank him or her as well for the sacrifice they have made. And for the veterans who are reading this, thank you for your service and your sacrifice. Of all the blessings that our country has received, our veterans have to be the greatest blessing of all.