The American soldier is the backbone of our liberties; the rock upon which tyranny must break. Without their sacrifice, their unwavering commitment to this nation and the ideals it espouses, this republic not only would have fallen but its beacon of hope would have been extinguished long ago beneath the smoke-ridden battlefields of Lexington, Bunker Hill, or Yorktown. Tragically, despite the fact millions of Americans bask in the opportunity and affluence of their God-given rights, those procured by the unassuming few, the struggles of our veterans often goes unappreciated or unnoticed; especially by those who have the most blessings or the most disagreeable of political beliefs. Many suffer from debilitating physical injuries and incurable mental trauma, countless are unable to find work, proper healthcare or sufficiently provide for their families who faithfully stood by their side, and far too many – roughly 50,000 veterans – walk the littered streets of our apathy without food or shelter, let alone a kind word or even a misconstrued hint of concern. And yes, there are those forgotten souls who commit suicide to escape a hell most ordinary citizens could never conceive.
The next time you stand in line for the newest technological marvel, complain about traffic or the everyday contrivances of modern inconvenience, remember that these brave men and women represent the forgotten, the nameless, the silhouette of bravery manning the gates of freedom; the billowing breath standing steadfast in the darkest corners of the world so that America, our own children, may slumber beneath the light of liberty. Duty, valor, God, country? These are not commercial taglines left to bleed off a bumper sticker or fade from a politician’s neglected promise. These are the values, intrinsic calling, the undying creed of United States veterans; those who served so that hope may continue to breathe. Veterans Day is just not another day of empty revelry and convenient celebration. It’s our unbridled privilege, our inherent obligation as free men and women, to honor those heroes who restored our faith in humanity. It is our nonnegotiable duty to thank our veterans, not on any singular occasion or nationally ordained day of recognition, but to seek out those who have fallen into the callous cracks of society’s indifference and restore their faith in America. It is our innate duty to honor theirs, now and forever!