Today is the day we take time to thank those who have served our country in war and peace, who have fought in the battlefield and served behind the lines. But it doesn't need to be. We can remember those who have served every day, and should.
Someone once defined a veteran as someone who, at one point in his or her life, wrote a blank check made payable to The United States of America, for an amount of up to and including their life. Not all have paid with their lives, some have paid with their livelihood. All have sacrificed for something bigger than themselves, the belief that this is a unique nation that is worth the hardships of military service to protect and preserve.
We need to thank not only the veterans, but their families, who have had to contend with long, and in some cases, permanent absences of their loved ones. They've also had to cope with the wounded warriors who come home changed by their experiences, physically and mentally, requiring care and patience while the healing process begins.
The rest of us need to say thank you, not just by celebrating veterans on Veteran's day, but by providing support to those who have served in the form of employment opportunities, medical care, and most importantly our own time and energy to let them know how much we appreciate their service.