Veterans Day 2017 · 11 November 2017

Joseph Ambrose, an 86-year-old World War I veteran, attends the dedication day parade for the Vietnam Veterans Memorial in 1982.
This work is in the public domain.

When we think about Veterans Day, we often think of a day off in November. At least if we work in an industry that takes the day off. But it is so much more than that. It is a day to think of honor and sacrifice.

I am happy to say that honor is alive and well and living in our schools. At least the school where I work. We invite a veteran or military person on active or reserve duty to speak at our annual Veterans Day assembly. We invite veterans in our community to join us as we celebrate the day. We even have those invitees stay for lunch after the assembly so they can visit with the kids and know that they are appreciated with more than just words. We honor those people because they did their duty to protect the freedoms and liberty that we all enjoy in this country. Whether we really understand or appreciate those concepts or not.

I am appreciative and thankful for those who served. And I am humbled by those who gave the ultimate sacrifice in service of others. Yes, we have a separate holiday to remember the fallen, but we also remember them on Veterans Day.

I may not write a note of thank you on my blog for every Veterans day, but I do appreciate the veterans. Those who are part of my family. Those who are my friends. Those who have been my students. Those who I do not even know. I appreciate them all. And their families – those who have been left behind. During deployment and even much longer. I appreciate their willingness to sacrifice.

That is why I appreciate Veterans. I know they go willingly into the fray instead of turning away. They have a choice and they choose to go. Even when they know they might not return. I know we all appreciate that willingness to sacrifice for others. It is part of our DNA to appreciate sacrificial love.

I am proud to be an American. And I cry when I hear Lee Greenwood’s song (God Bless the U.S.A.) with those lyrics. I cry because I recognize the honor and sacrifice that our veterans and active duty military personnel and their families have and give. I cry because I appreciate their sacrificial love.

I know that a blog post is not much. Neither is a hand shake. But I give them both with my heartfelt thank you.

Thank you Veterans for serving. Thank you. Thank you.

© 2017 Michael T. Miyoshi

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