As many of you know today is Veterans Day. It’s a day designed and set aside for the honoring of the men and women of our Armed Forces past and present. It’s a day to pause and honor the men and women who ran into danger so we could sit cozy on our couches. It’s a day to stand up for those who stood up for us.
I am pretty sure that most people know that I’m unashamedly patriotic. No this does not mean that I worship the nation, that’s a nationalist. It doesn’t mean that I think a president can save us or a flag is the end all beat all of my freedom. I’m a patriot. I believe that we live in a broken country in the midst of a broken world but we have been awarded some pretty massive freedoms that are being overlooked and taken for granted. I’m a patriot and that means I have no qualms about standing up for what I believe is good and right and honorable in this the greatest republic the world has ever had a chance to witness.
But I didn’t stand in line to serve. I’m no hero. Many days I regret that decision to not serve and protect this country. But today is about the men and women who did just that. It’s a day to thank the feeble old man who can barely push his grocery cart but proudly wears his Veterans of Foreign Wars hat. It’s a day to pause and reflect on what makes America different from the rest of the world and who secured that for us.
As Americans we are so darn entitled. We take for granted things that other countries would die for! Why do you think so many people from so many countries want to come to America? It’s not because we have good barbecue or great restaurant chains. They want to be here because of what these heroes did. They want to be here so they can take shelter in a safe haven that is protected by the most elite group of defenders the world has ever known.
This year has proven to be challenging for so many. I’m ashamed of what has happened to the “united” part of this country. The things that used to unite us now divide us. And to be honest it’s killing the very things we’ve grown to love. If 2020 has taught us anything it’s that life can change in the drop of a nickel.
Do you like knowing that flipping a switch can make the lights turn on? Or that you can go to the store and have plenty of food to pick up off the shelves? Do you like to know that you can leave your house at 1am to make a run to the local corner mart to grab a 6-pack? No the veterans in our country don’t necessarily run those things but they make them a reality. Without their sacrifice and continued protection even at times when we don’t even know it, our lives would look very different.
So today let’s swallow our pride as greedy Americans. Stand for the flag and all it represents, because the flag isn’t about how we treat one another it’s about what they fought for. Greet one another with a smile even those people who look, act and believe different than us. Veterans’ Day is about making this nation a place where we can see life differently and still exist peacefully.
Friends, if you’re not a veteran then today isn’t about you. Thank a veteran because without them much of what you have wouldn’t exist. And it’s all because they ran in when most would run away.
Thank you to all who have served and are still serving. There are still Americans out there who have your six. I am one of them. Happy Veterans Day!