On Veterans’ Day, I am reminded to be thankful for the many citizens, mostly while still young adults, who have chosen to serve in U.S. military service over eight generations spanning the centuries since the American Revolution. I grew up in a family of “citizen soldiers” who served our nation on behalf of us all. My mother, ninety-three years and counting, served in Naval Intelligence in World War II. She once commented that it was the best work of her life, a time when she felt a sense of mission that was bigger than her or any other person who served with her.
In our school division, veterans serve as teachers, bus drivers, assistants, and administrators. They often go quietly through the days and years of their work in education without drawing any attention to their prior service. They may have served decades ago or in recent times. Many of us also have taught young people who joined the service and served our country well. Some of us have family members and friends who once were in the military and now are veterans.
Honoring our veterans transcends our day-to-day lives. Our veterans notice when we say thank you. They notice when our young people learn about Veterans’ Day from you. They notice when we take the time to explain what it means to be a service veteran.
No matter the time in peace or in war, our veterans deserve our appreciation for serving our nation on our behalf. Thank you for taking the time to pause and reflect on the meaning of Veterans’ Day.