November 11th is the day we celebrate Veterans Day as it holds historical significance in marking the anniversary of the signing of the Armistice which ended WW1 on the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month in 1918. It is a day to celebrate and honor not only those who have fallen but all military veterans for their patriotism, courage and love of their country. On this day we stand and take notice of those around us who have fought in the name of our freedom, proudly displaying our yellow ribbons on our mail boxes and cars and adding the color to our clothes as we participate in parades, flag raising ceremonies and the moment of silence observed at 11AM. We honor. We appreciate. We reflect.
But the day passes and we slowly become passive in our support of those who should mean so much. Our cars and mail boxes become our silent support as we leave it to these small gestures to honor our men and women as we get lost in the chaos of our daily lives. We need to stop and ask ourselves, is this truly good enough when, every day, these soldiers take it upon themselves to defend our freedom. Both past and present have worked diligently so that you and I can enjoy sporting events, movie premieres and vacations to relaxing destinations. As we go through life doing these things, knowlwedge is lost of the price which has been paid for this freedom.
Yes, it is true some have paid with their lives, but there is another side to this coin of loss. For your right to recieve an education, somewhere a soldier has set aside his time at college. For the opportunity to own your land, a mother said goodbye to her son. And for your right to move around our country freely, a father missed the birth of his baby. I can only imagine what has been sacrificed for me so that I may have the right to pursue my passion and express my thoughts and ideas through writing.
Every day unknown men and women are defending your freedom. Is this fact not worth more than a single day of acknowledgement? I challenge you to observe those around you on a daily basis, and you will see that the brave walk among us at any given moment. Remember what they have given for you and thank the soldier that crosses your path. A moment of your time will mean a lifetime to that soldier coming out of the gas station or passing you by in a restaurant, to know that not just their family appreciates what they have done, but the total stranger whom they will never see again. Show your pride for your country, make every day Veterans Day and thank the soldiers you find within your midst.
© Olivia Wolfe ~ 2012