A date like this one (11/11/11) doesn’t come along too often. Not only do we observe Veteran’s Day on the 11th of November, but it was at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the Armistice was signed between the Allied nations and Germany to officially end World War 1. Formerly known as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day, this day is a national holiday in many allied nations, honoring the members of the armed forces who lost their lives in the war.
Rightly so, Veterans Day now pays tribute to all military veterans. Those who have served in the military or are presently serving in the military deserve our thanks. Many nations have reason to thank their servicemen for their contributions, but this reflection is based on those in the branches of the U.S. military.
- The U.S. official motto is “In God We Trust.” Although much effort has been expended to remove God from our schools and our speech, this motto was reaffirmed this month by the U. S. House of Representatives. Some say that this reaffirmation was a needless distraction from our nation’s other problems. I, for one, am proud of the House for the reaffirmation. Whatever the religion of the servicemen and women (and they should be free to worship as they please), they do serve a country that still recognizes sovereign God.
- Military service is selfless. Personnel in every branch of our military sacrifice time with their families and other pursuits. They are willing to given their time unselfishly for the good of their country and their grandchildren. It costs them much to be in the military.
- Military members are brave and honorable people, willing to lay their lives on the line for others.
- Military members are worthy examples for young people. They are the true super heroes of our nation.
- Military members know the value and honor of teamwork.
- The official motto of the United States Army is “This We’ll Defend.” That is a statement that covers all the military branches. Our nation is still free because of our veterans.
- The United States Navy motto is “Honor, Courage, Commitment,” a standard that should be true of all of us.
- “Semper Fidelis,” the motto of the United States Marine Corps reminds its members of the need to be “Always Faithful.”
- The United States Coast Guard vows to be “Semper Paratus,” “Always Ready.” They have proven their loyalty many times in recent years.
- The United States Navy Seals know that service is not easy. They are ready for any challenge as their motto is “The Only Easy Day Was Yesterday.”
- Finally, but not least because I have two sons serving in the United States Air Force, is the motto, “Aim High…Fly, Fight, Win.” “Above All” and “No One Comes Close” are still remembered as USAF mottoes. Their core values say it all (even for other branches of the military): Integrity first, Service before self, and Excellence in all we do.
Thank you, sons, family and friends who have served and are serving in the United States military. I owe you a debt of gratitude for the freedoms I still have.
Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one’s life for his friends (John 15:13).