Freedom is something we take very personal. Our society hinges on the protection of civil rights and defending those unable to defend themselves.
And this isn’t an original American sentiment. It’s roots are in ancient Hebrew.
“Speak up for those who cannot speak for themselves, for the rights of all who are destitute. Speak up and judge fairly; defend the rights of the poor and needy.” —Proverbs 31:8–9
Today is Veterans Day. Originally known as Armistice Day, the holiday was created to commemorate the cessation of hostilities of World War I. In a true tale of last minute heroics the fighting stopped in the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month. Hence November 11th being christened as a day to remember veterans and their sacrifice.
As the son of two veterans (both my parents served in the United States Navy) I am keenly aware of the honor, sacrifice, and long-standing traditions of our military.
Regardless of your political position, you cannot deny that you enjoy freedom because of the blood, sweat, tears, and toil of countless soldiers who’ve come before you.
Freedom isn’t free
Perhaps that phrase has lost some meaning because it sounds cliche and we take it for granted. Yet despite it’s simplicity, it rings as true as the Liberty Bell.
Every day men and women around the world put on their uniforms and shiny shoes (or combat boots) to protect freedom. Husbands, wives, dads, mothers, brothers, sisters, sons, and daughters fight to defend our rights.
And yet, we so often forget them when they come home from war.
Regardless of whether you’re blue or red (or something in between) we can come together like the colors on our flag to honor and support our veterans.
Here are 3 of the many options:
1. Thank a soldier
If you’re at an airport, the grocery store, or a coffee shop, take a moment to stop and say “thank you” to someone in uniform. It’s a small gesture that means a lot. Gratitude reminds veterans and active duty folks alike that they are not forgotten. Or invisible.
2. Raise awareness
Suicide is one of the leading causes of death among veterans. Organizations like Team Rubicon were created to give veterans a renewed sense of purpose as civilians and provide disaster relief. They help put veterans to work on a worthy cause by leveraging their military training and expertise.
3. Buy a book
Howard Schultz, the CEO, chairman & president of Starbucks Coffee Company, just co-authored a book with Rajiv Chandrasekaran, a senior correspondent and associate editor at The Washington Post. For Love of Country: What Our Veterans Can Teach Us About Citizenship, Heroism, and Sacrifice highlights 10 stories of veterans and active military personnel. 100% of profits are donated to the successful transition of military veterans and their families
Our veterans fought for us. The least we can do is fight for them.