On November 11, 2021, we celebrated Veterans’ Day. This is a day set aside to honor all of the men and women who have served in our country’s armed forces.
This day was originally called Armistice Day and was celebrated at the end of World War I. The day was chosen because the end of war came on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.
Most years, school districts across the State and nation would have the opportunity to honor these valiant and dedicated men and women of all ages by having special ceremonies in school gymnasiums, where speakers would give us personal examples of their service, our choirs and bands would fill the air with patriotic music and we would end the ceremony by having a local trumpeter play taps and having the local Veterans of Foreign Wars (VFWs) and American Legion posts provide a gun salute.
COVID-19 has caused us to take a different approach to honoring our veterans the past few years. Though we may be holding our ceremony differently, it will not diminish the profound respect and love we have for our veterans.
Several of my family members and friends have served in our country’s armed forces, not all returned home. They wanted to protect the country that they loved so deeply and wanted their children and grandchildren to enjoy the same freedoms and liberty that they had as United States citizens. It is such a true statement, “All gave some and some gave all”, every veteran that we honor today gave up something to make and keep our country free and we owe them a debt of gratitude, not just on this one special day, but on every day that we have a chance to feel the warmth of the sun on our faces and breathe the fresh air into our lungs.
I am truly glad to be an American and I will proudly put my hand over my heart to say the Pledge of Allegiance to our flag and take off my hat to show respect to those who have made my life of freedom possible.
Veterans Day is a day to remember and say “Thank You” and to pause briefly on the 11th minute of the 11th hour to remember all of the people who have given of themselves to make our country great. I hope that you will also take time each and every day to say “thank you” to a veteran and to remember, even in these times of stress and chaos caused by the coronavirus, to be grateful for all of our blessings.