By Bob Dees
On Veterans Day, we must ask ourselves a very important question: “Where would we be without our Veterans?” What if they had concluded it was too windy, too wet, and too uncomfortable to venture onto the beaches of Normandy in June 1944? Gratefully, they didn’t ask such a self-serving question — they were there, they went across the beaches, and they unhinged an entire continent from an evil empire, they were “all in” … on behalf of future generations. As a result of their efforts, and the continuing efforts of our troops and families of today, we are the Land of the Free, and the Home of the Brave. America will remain the Land of the Free because of our brave veterans who gave their very lives for the future of America, as well as our military who today selflessly serve at home and abroad. Perhaps a few mental snapshots will bring this important remembrance into better focus for all of us. While Veterans Day and Memorial Day have their own distinct emphasis, respectively on living veterans and those who have fallen on the field of battle, let me for a moment gain altitude to honor our veterans, both past and present. Consider the following:
- “Blades of Grass and Pure White Stones,” the title of a song written by Senator Orrin Hatch, commemorates Arlington Cemetery and the countless rows of grave markers, representative of fields around the world where our nation’s noble warriors have been laid to rest.
- Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address:
“… It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us – that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion – that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain – that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom – and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from the earth.
- From the Apostle Paul, “The time of my departure has come. I have fought the good fight. I have finished the race and I have kept the faith.” We do well to honor “the good fight” of each of our faithful fallen warriors. We do well to value our current Veterans. And we do well to respect and encourage those who stand on Freedom’s Frontier this very moment on our behalf.
- From the great Roman orator Cicero, “Poor is the nation that has no heroes, but poorer still is the nation that having heroes fails to remember and honor them.” May we honor those who fight, bleed, and die for us and future generations. Our nation is at true peril when we fail to remember those who have made it all possible.
- For the family who has lost a loved one in the military, every day is Memorial Day. Perhaps that should be true for all of us… every day we honor the fallen and give thanks for the living who continue to serve.
The message on Veterans Day is simple: We honor those who serve at home and abroad today. As well, we honor their families— the great stroller brigades …. the priceless sprint into the waiting arms of a returning military member. We as a nation also honor those who have paid the ultimate sacrifice on our behalf. We must also ask ourselves a very important question: “Where would we be without our Veterans, past and present?” We pray for God’s abundant comfort for those loved one’s left behind, including those fellow warriors saddled with the guilt of survival. We thank, affirm and pray for those who serve today, along with their committed families. Where would we be without our Veterans? Gratefully, we don’t have to ask that question.
They have always been there for us.
Now … we must be there for them, America.
Who is the Veteran you want to honor today?
What is their story???
Read more from Maj. General Robert Dees on his blog page: