Today, Americans everywhere will be honoring members of the Armed Forces as we celebrate Veteran's Day. November 11 of each year is the day set aside that we ensure our veterans know that we deeply appreciate the sacrifices they have made to keep our country free and safe and to protect our right to recite the Pledge of Allegiance.
Today in America, one out of every 14 of us is a veteran. Each of these select few has a story. Some served in war, some served in peace. Some took time off work to serve, many made it their career. Some returned unharmed, yet many live with the wounds of their service. All have earned our utmost gratitude, which is the pride and purpose of Veterans Day.
Veterans Day is set aside to thank and honor all men and women who served honorably in the military - in wartime or in peacetime. Veteran's Day is a time to remember and pay tribute to the brave men and women of the U.S. armed forces who have answered the call of duty to defend our nation and way of life, often at the greatest personal sacrifice. Their bravery, their resourcefulness, and their patriotism mark them as our nation’s finest citizens. Today, and at every point in American history, the men and women of our military paved the way for democracy; our hard-earned rights and freedoms. They created new opportunities and opened new doors.
I would like to express my deepest thanks for the veterans who served our country with great honor in the past, and to those who uphold their duties today. As I express my gratitude for these American patriots, I am mindful that we have many things to be thankful for at this time of year. I am especially grateful to be a citizen of this great county and to have the privilege of serving as superintendent of an outstanding school district. How fortunate we are to live in a country that supports the opportunity for every child to receive a quality education!
I encourage each of us to reach out to the veterans in our family, church, school or community to thank them for their service. It is a small, but meaningful gesture that shows appreciation to the living heroes in our lives and will embed in our minds respect for those who sacrifice selflessly.
Saying "thank you" is important, but there’s always more that we the people can do for those whose sacrifices preserved the heritage of freedom. We can work to make sure they can find work, look out for the families of the fallen, be every bit the patriots our founders were. And we can pray for those currently serving in our armed forces, that they return home safe, to be honored on this day, with a story or two of their own to tell.