November 11th is Veterans Day, an American holiday that honors and thanks military veterans, living and dead, for their service and sacrifice. It is celebrated in other parts of the world as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day. It marks the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice that ended World War I. It goes well beyond who the current President is or if you agree or disagree with their policies. It’s about the men and women who served their country in the armed forces.
Here are a few quotes on military service and sacrifice I like:
"It is, in a way, an odd thing to honor those who died in defense of our country, in defense of us, in wars far away. The imagination plays a trick. We see these soldiers in our mind as old and wise. We see them as something like the Founding Fathers, grave and gray haired. But most of them were boys when they died, and they gave up two lives–the one they were living and the one they would have lived. When they died, they gave up their chance to be husbands and fathers and grandfathers. They gave up their chance to be revered old men. They gave up everything for our country, for us. And all we can do is remember."
- President Ronald Reagan
"It takes a remarkable person not just to say a creed and memorize a creed, but to live by a creed."
- Stephanie Shughart, widow of Medal of Honor recipient Sgt. First Class Randall Shughart, killed in action in October ‘93 in Somalia
" … if there are any debates still to be had about our mission in Somalia, let people have those debates where they belong — with the President and the policymakers. But let there be no debate about the professionalism and the valor of those who served there, and the valor of those who died there. We are proud of what they did. We honor them. We thank them."
- President Bill Clinton
"On that day let us solemnly remember the sacrifices of all those who fought so valiantly, on the seas, in the air, and on foreign shores, to preserve our heritage of freedom, and let us reconsecrate ourselves to the task of promoting an enduring peace so that their efforts shall not have been in vain."
- President Dwight D. Eisenhower
"In thinking back on the days of Easy Company, I’m treasuring my remark to a Grandson who asked, ‘Grandpa, were you a hero in the war?’ "’No,’ I answered, ‘but I served in a company of heroes.’"
- Mike Ranney 101st Airborne, 506 Parachute Infantry Regiment, Easy Company