Somehow, Veterans Day doesn't seem to get the prominence that other Federal holidays do. Memorial Day is observed more widely, honoring and remembering our servicemembers that have passed, but honoring those veterans who have served and are still with us is not as fashionable. I say this as somebody who has generally worked at private companies and has never had the day off. And as somebody who has worked with veterans who were mightily cranky about having to work on a day that was meant to honor all military veterans. I will be working tomorrow, and there will be a few unofficial parties at my office (defense contractors employ LOTS of veterans).
How to celebrate this holiday? If you know a veteran, call him or her up on the phone and THANK THEM for their service. If you bump into someone you know who has served in the military at work, while shopping, or happen to stand next to them on the bus, THANK THEM. Feeling a little awkward about it? Here's a script:
"Thank you for serving."
It's just that easy. And that simple phrase will really make a Soldier, Airman, Marine, or Seaman's day. It's a great sacrifice to serve in the military and we owe our rights and freedom to the forces that fight for the United States of America. It's not necessary for you to agree with a particular war that was fought, but you ought to honor those that protected your right to debate and have the option to speak freely about your own beliefs.
My thanks goes out to all veterans. I hope you survived the transition from the battlefield back to civilian life well and are prospering. My heart goes out to you and your families if you have struggled with your health or finances. I honor your service as a gift that I can never fully repay. Thank you for serving.
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