[November 11, 2020] Veterans Day, 11 NOVEMBER 2020:
The guns of the First World War eerily fell silent over a century ago on this date in 1918. Today is the day when Americans all across this great Nation gather in large and small groups and pause to remember those Veterans who served in our Armed Forces.
We have observed this day, first as Armistice Day and now as Veterans Day, for 102 years. And, in doing so, we thank our Veterans for standing up for America and for our way of life and freedom. As such, we honor all Americans who served in the U.S. Army, Navy, Air Force, Marines, and Coast Guard, in times of peace and in war, and who are now passing the torch of liberty from our generation to the next.
I’m reminded of the “Great War,” when a neighbor Jed Neidigh told me about his experience during the Third Battle of the Aisne in late May 1918. The American Expeditionary Forces under General John “Blackjack” Pershing were taking a terrible beating from the Germans. Doughboy Neidigh said that he had lost his rifle in one of many attacks, but “since there were thousands just lying around, I just picked one up.” The implication was obvious.
Veterans Day is a time we recognize the debt we owe to our Veterans like Jed Neidigh. We can never fully repay that debt. But today, we can rededicate ourselves to them and to their sacrifices. It is also a time that we can, in the words of President Abraham Lincoln, “care for him who shall have borne the battle.”
We must be ever mindful that it is this sacrifice of our Veterans that has preserved this Nation and the ideals we treasure. We, and our children after us, must be devoted to the principles for which these men and women dedicated themselves … to honor, loyalty, integrity, and faith in America.
Our Veterans did not let down our flag or our Nation. They did not bow before our enemies. They were committed to their last breath to the United States of America. The next time you meet a Veteran, stop and thank them for their service but know in your heart that without the Veteran, we would not now be here to enjoy the freedoms of a powerful, generous America.
Let us never forget the Veteran, their hard and dangerous work, their duty and devotion to a great cause, their willingness to sacrifice their own lives if needed, and for being heroes in their own right.
In America, we honor our Veterans.