Every year, Veterans Day is celebrated on November 11th as a way to honor those who have served in the United States Armed Forces. Originally Armistice Day (a day that marked the end of World War I), legislation was passed in 1954 to change the day to Veterans Day.
It’s often difficult for me to articulate the emotions that course through my veins on a day like today. My husband served in the United States Navy during the first 6 years of our marriage. He spent more than half of our first 4 years together away from home, proudly answering his call to duty. When someone tells him, “Thank you for your service,” he will shake their hand and say, “You’re welcome” all while explaining that it was his honor, but truly the honor to stand beside him as his wife was mine.
You see, to love a veteran – whether they are your spouse, relative, or friend – is one of the greatest gifts one can receive. Watching someone you care so deeply about set off into the great unknown, worlds apart from everything they’ve ever known, to guard and protect the freedoms of this great country fills you with a sense of pride, humility, and devotion to the United States and the men & women that protect & serve it that is hard to gain otherwise. It’s this deep sense of pride and respect for our nation’s veterans that I hope to share with our boys as they grow.
So, how can we show more support for our veterans? Well, one simple way would be to attend a Veterans Day celebration in your community. For me, this means taking my boys to Stubbs Park for their annual Veterans Day program at 11am. No, it’s not always easy to keep their attention focused during the event, but this is an important tradition that I plan to uphold and I hope to use this as an opportunity to teach them about the real heroes among us. (We also attend their Memorial Day program each year to honor those men & women who gave the ultimate sacrifice.) Despite the extra work it takes to bring little ones to events like this, seeing the sincere smiles and gratitude on the faces of the veterans whose hands my boys shake makes it more than worth it. It reminds them that they are loved, they are not forgotten, and that future generations are still being taught to support, honor, and respect them as well.
Happy Veterans Day! God bless the United States of America and all those who have served and continue to serve and protect it!