In 1918, the last gun fired its last shot on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, at 11 a.m. After four years of brutal trench warfare, incredible bloodshed, and relentless deafening sounds of machine gun fire and shelling, silence — silence had finally filled the sky and covered the dead, our dead.
Since that last shot was fired on November 11, Armistice Day, now known as our Veterans Day, we have given our most profound gratitude and respect to all who have ever worn our nation’s uniform. On Veterans Day, we honor those who have sacrificed everything for us, our country, and for what America stands for.
From the frozen fields of Valley Forge, to the hills of Gettysburg; from the mud in ‘No Man’s Land’ of World War I to the blood-soaked beaches of Normandy of World War II; from the hills and jungles of Korea and Vietnam to the scorching hot deserts of Iraq and Afghanistan. Our veterans have laid down their lives for what we deeply value: our freedoms. They have absorbed all the blows for us, some visible, but the worst of them all, the invisible scars.
In the prime of their youth, from every race and religion, our young sons and daughters from small towns all across America have raised their right hand and solemnly sworn to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, so help them, God. They wear the cloth of our nation and selflessly, without hesitation, run directly towards the fight because they took that oath to protect and defend our home, our America.
As Americans, we are defined by how we remember and honor our heroes, our Veterans. We are responsible for showing future generations that if you raise that right hand and take that oath to defend us, we will always have your back and honor your sacrifice.
Less than 1% of Americans have shouldered the burden of war, and because of that fact, the odds are that our veterans are not our fathers, mother, brothers, sister, or neighbors. So it is easy to forget the heavy price that has been paid for our freedoms. But we must never forget that price. A nation that does not recognize and honor its defenders and the sacrifices their families have made is a nation with no soul and has no freedom.
“A nation who forgets its defenders will be itself forgotten” — President Calvin Coolidge
Veterans Day is a day of pride where we celebrate and remember their fighting spirit and legacy. Veterans Day is a day to respect what so many have given and continue to give for us. Our soldiers in uniform have served our nation with the utmost honor and bravery.
So, today, when we see them at an airport or having coffee at a diner, perhaps a bit older now and frail, look them squarely in the eye, offer our hand and say, “Thank you for your service.” Thank you is not enough, but we owe them that much.
When you are at the ball game, and you stand with your hand over your heart and hear the words in our Star Spangled Banner, “That our flag was still there… the land of the free and the home of the brave,” let it swell your hearts with pride and let it lift your heads high. Because when our enemies have attempted to take away our liberties — and they have tried — they have met a fierce resistance, one that would not bend and always stood its ground. They met men and women in our armed forces on land, at sea, or in the air, who have always answered the call to defend us, our freedoms, and our ideals. Always.
America is the land of hope, compassion, tolerance, and freedom. In America, we have the freedom to chase our dreams, whatever they may be, and become whoever we wish to be. America gives us that opportunity because of the sacrifice of those who chose to put on the nation’s uniform.
Today, on this solemn day, our Veterans Day, we pay the debt we owe them by remembering and honoring their sacrifice for us. We pay that debt by never forgetting, ever.
“Honor to the soldier and sailor everywhere who bravely bears his country’s cause. Honor also to the citizen who cares for his brother in the field and serves as he best can the same cause.” — Abraham Lincoln
Veterans Day is a day for us to ensure our soldier’s stories of heroism, courage, and, most importantly — sacrifice is never forgotten. It is the day we are all reminded of what we all have in common as Americans. Our political beliefs may differ, but our faith in the principles of this nation and our love for our country does not. So on this Veterans Day, we humbly thank all who have served and continue to serve. We thank our military families, and may God bless you all.
We can never thank you enough!
Douglas Taurel is a professional actor and the creator of The American Soldier, an award-winning solo play based on actual letters written by veterans and their families from the American Revolution to the recent wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. Taurel has performed the show in over 34 cities, including the Kennedy Center in 2016 and 2019, The Library of Congress, and Off-Broadway. This November, in honor of Veterans Day, he will be at the Doudna Fine Arts Center in Charleston, IL, Monmouth University, NJ, and Kent State University’s Center for The Performing Arts in Ohio. In the last leg of his tour, The American Soldier will be stepping in for Stephen Lang’s one-man show, Beyond Glory. Follow Douglas on social media: @DouglasTaurel Twitter , Instagram , Facebook.
The views expressed in this piece are those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of The Daily Wire.