Today is Veteran’s Day. It’s been nearly a hundred years since President Woodrow Wilson first declared November 11 to be Armistice Day to celebrate the conclusion of “the war to end all wars,” World War I.
Obviously, it wasn’t, and several generations have come and gone since, with our nation’s finest and bravest continuing to lay their lives on the line each day in service of our country. Literally hundreds of thousands have paid the supreme price defending of our nation, and as we commemorate Veteran’s Day this Nov. 11, we must never forget their sacrifice.
I have been sitting here trying to think of something creative to write that might express my heart’s gratitude for those men and women who have served in our military, both at home and abroad, in peace time and in war, to preserve our freedom and protect our lives.
But all I could come up with was…thank you.
For some reason, no matter how hard I try to craft my words to express something particularly meaningful, the words themselves just seem to come up empty. Sometimes a simple “thank you” does seem to say it all.
As I mentioned Sunday, I do have a profound respect for those who have served and try to take every opportunity I get to tell them so, whether it be at a funeral, at the Alabama Veteran’s Memorial in Irondale (I would highly recommend this), or just out in public. I can think of a couple of dozen personal encounters I have had with American military servicemen and veterans over the past few years. It may have been standing on opposite sides of a gas pump; waiting in line at a fast food restaurant; talking to a World War II veteran at the public library; seeing someone in an airport dressed in their military uniform; or recognizing veterans like we did last Sunday at Shelby Crossings. Over and over, with genuine heart-felt gratitude, I’ve felt compelled to simply say, “Thank you.”
And so, today, lest I cloud these sentiments with many words, I will say it once again. To all of you who have served, and are serving–and also to those who have sent your sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, or fathers and mothers off to serve in defense of our nation–please know how grateful we are for your sacrifice.
May I suggest that each of us find someone to thank, today, for standing in the gap for us. And don’t forget to be in prayer for those serving in harm’s way around our world even this day. May our Lord protect them, and may He be honored by their service.
Happy 11-11-11 to each of you. I look forward to seeing you on Sunday.