We shall never forget the sacrifices made for freedom
For a new generation of Americans growing up in the post-Cold War era, Veterans Day is a reprieve from school, a day when banks are closed and a weekend when all the stores hold sales.
How we have let our children — and our veterans — down.
We take our freedom for granted. It has been so long since that first armistice, on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918, when World War I ended in Europe and the German threat was defeated, that we have become lax in remembering how close our world has come to dictatorial domination.
After World War II, Congress declared Nov. 11 Veterans Day in honor of Americans who have fought in all wars.
Central to the observance of Veterans Day, and its predecessor, Armistice Day, has been the impressive ceremony at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldiers in Arlington National Cemetery. Those honored soldiers "known but to God," represent the sacrifices of all who came before, who have fought since, and who will do so in the future to defend our country.
Certainly, freedom is not free. Many thousands have willingly paid the ultimate price to protect it in a just cause. Today we honor and remember them all for their generous service.
As our troops spread around the world today — our future veterans — put their lives on the line so we can enjoy our freedom, take a moment to give thanks for their sacrifices and to ask God to protect them from harm. Pray also that he gives comfort and strength to their families.
A generation of young Americans has grown up with no knowledge of the price paid for our freedom. Perhaps the way we can best honor our veterans today is to take time to share with a child just how fortunate we are to have men and women willing to risk all so that we can be free.
We must never forget the price that was paid, nor ever allow those sacrifices to go unacknowledged.