For those of us in the US, today is a holiday, and I have off work today – as does Ryan! I honestly didn’t think I’d have the day off, so it was kind of a really nice surprise to find out that I do, and that I’ll be able to enjoy this day with my family. What is Veterans Day though, really? Ryan and I have been married for almost seven years now and, over the years, the significance of this day has become more and more meaningful to all of us.
On the surface, Veterans Day is a national public holiday held on November 11th, the anniversary of the end of World War I. Veterans Day is meant to honor all military veterans and those serving and who have previously served in the US military. I know that lots of people confuse Memorial Day – a holiday meant to honor those who made the ultimate sacrifice – with Veterans Day, which honors all those who’ve served. To many, it’s a day off from work. It’s a bank holiday, schools are closed, and many of us mark it as a break in an otherwise long month. To military families though, Veterans Day has a special place in our hearts.
We are blessed that our favorite veteran is home today and has not deployed this year. Many of our friends and neighbors, however, aren’t so lucky. Their loved ones are serving overseas, or they’re TDY, or they’re in the midst of a hardship tour. That’s the reality of military life.
Regardless of where they are, what they’re doing, or where they’ve been, our veterans are serving or have served every single day of their military career, and that should be honored.
This day and every day, I’m endlessly grateful for the service and sacrifices of our armed forces. Sometimes those sacrifices aren’t so blatant. It’s sacrificing being at a child’s first birthday, or it’s missing yet another anniversary. It’s missed meals, bedtime prayers, and reading books with littles. It’s missed trips and visits with family, or living thousands of miles from loved ones, forced to connect only via technology. It’s trials and perseverance and, most of all, it’s resilience.
So, what is Veterans Day? It’s a tribute to the strength and endurance of our service members past, present, and future.
Thank you will never be enough, but this day (and every day), I’m eternally grateful.