Today is Veterans' Day. I want to take a moment to say thank you.
Thank you to all the veterans who have served and sacrificed and worked long hours in awful places, so that I can sit comfortably in my house and watch my children play safely in my front yard. Even though that wasn't the reason you did what you did, that's the result and for that I'm grateful. You may not consider yourself a hero, but I do.
Thank you to the families of veterans who have given up so much precious time with their fathers, husbands, daughters, sisters, wives, sons, and brothers, spent long hours on your knees in church or by your bedside, praying for the safe return of your loved ones, and waited by the phone or computer for the phone calls and emails that come as often as they can but are never quite enough.
Thank you to the kids who are this very moment packing for basic training, the kids who, in spite of the reservations their families and friends must have given the state of the world we're living in, are answering their nation's call. Thank you to the soldiers, sailors, airmen and marines you will all become in a few short months.
Thank you to those who have given the ultimate sacrifice for the United States. "Thank you" isn't even nearly enough...your loss will be felt forever and there is nothing that can give enough comfort to a mother or father, wife or husband, son or daughter who has said goodbye for the last time.
This morning, I spent some time at my kids' school helping put on a Veterans' Day presentation. Along with several other moms, I gave some of my time to help the kids learn about what a veteran does, and why it's important to say "Thank You." I don't know a single vet (and I know a fair amount) who really wants to be made a huge deal over. I don't know many who would call themselves a "hero." Most would say, "I was just doing my job." No one expects or even really wants the ticker tape parades and all the hoopla. But it sure is nice when someone says, "Thank you for what you do."
I think of one the most important things we can do is to teach our children about the value of service, of giving something back, of contributing to something bigger than yourself. Our children are not only our own futures, but the future of this country. Saying "Thank you" takes no time at all, and it doesn't cost anything at all, but the dividends are tremendous.
So for this one day, no politics, no points to be made, no agendas. Just....thank you.