It's appropriate that November 11th is set
aside as a solemn day to remember the veterans who have served this country.
Some served during peace time, others during war. Some served in support roles
from right here in the United States, while others endured harsh conditions in
all corners of the world. Without exception, every single soldier, sailor,
airman and marine made a major sacrifice. They knew that at any time they could
be deployed and placed in danger. They were away from family, friends and the
comforts of home for long periods of time. In many cases they completed
extensive and brutal training so that if and when they were called upon they
could complete their mission.
My question is, doesn’t that kind of extraordinary
service deserve more than remembrance on November 11? One great way to honor
our veterans is to learn what they did. There are places all across the country
where their amazing stories are told. Everyone has heard of Arlington National
Cemetery, location of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, but did you know that
there are National Cemeteries all around the country. Each one is a moving
experience to visit and an opportunity to show respect. The National D-Day
Memorial in Bedford, VA, tells the story of the allied landing in France during
WWII. The Arizona Memorial in Pearl Harbor, Hawaii straddles the sunken USS Arizona, whose
gun turrets are visible. The National World War II Museum in New Orleans came up with a great way to say,"thanks" to vetereans. These and many, many more monuments and memorials
offer a chance for reflection and remembrance but also for education. That’s
good news because we – and future generations – should never forget.