As Americans, we live in abundant freedom, peace, and prosperity. Few people in all the history of the world have enjoyed the blessings we often take for granted.
But there is a price attached to freedom. Our men and women in the military sacrifice every day. Many live in hell, some fight and are wounded, others pay the ultimate price.
Each one sacrifices much they hold dear to keep us free.
Here are some great ways to honor our veterans as we celebrate Veterans Day.
- Attend your local Veterans Day Parade. Wear red, white, and blue. Take pictures. Express appreciation to any veterans you may see. Invite your kids to look for opportunities to say thank-you too. Usually, even teens come home happy that they went.
- Visit with a veteran. Whether you take advantage of Veterans Day specials and take them out to eat, or call and visit with them, or invite a vet into your home, this can become a favorite family tradition. My dad and father-in-law both served in World War II. Every year we called them for Veterans Day and invited them to tell us about their experiences. Of course, we heard some stories many times, but we never get tired of them. We hope our kids tell them to our grandkids so our family legacy is passed from one generation to the next.
- Thank a military family. You could make them a card or a poster and take them a treat. Tell them how grateful you are for the sacrifices they are making (or have made) for our country. Be sure to make extra treats so your family can have some when you return home.
- Pray for those who are serving and their families. Talk about some of the sacrifices military families make, and ask God to bless them.
Watch films that show the sacrifices made by those who have defended our freedom, like: * Sergeant York (WW I)
* Taking Chance (Iraq War)
* The Unknowns (Tomb of the Unknown Soldier)
* Hallowed Grounds (Overseas Military Cemeteries)
* Soldiers Reunited with Families (Iraq War)
* 10 Life Lessons from Top Navy SEAL
- Serve. Not everyone serves in the military, but we can all do something to lighten the burdens of those who do and their families. Talk with your family about the best way you can help. The happy glow that comes from serving others may be your favorite part of the holiday.
- Keep a family history book. Include in it stories of grandpas, uncles, and other family members who have served in the military. Share inspirational experiences and include plenty of pictures. A family history book can become a favorite source for bedtime stories!
- Set up a tent. Talk about what the life of a soldier is like. If it's too cold outside, you could set up a tent in the house, complete with sleeping bags, snacks, and great stories.
- Read or tell a patriotic story.
* I Knew You Would Come
* Our Father
* The Wall
* The Poppy Lady
* Veterans -- Heroes in Our Neighborhood
* H Is For Honor
"If we look to the answer as to why for so many years we achieved so much, prospered as no other people on Earth, it was because here in this land we unleashed the energy and individual genius of man to a greater extent than has ever been done before.
"Freedom and the dignity of the individual have been more available and assured here than in any other place on Earth.
"The price for this freedom at times has been high, but we have never been unwilling to pay that price." ~Ronald Reagan
The courage and sacrifice of our veterans cannot be overstated.
When you see them, thank them for their service.
You never know how powerful those words may be.