Veterans Day (Gratitude: Days Eleven and Twelve)

Double gratitude today. On the one hand because I didn't get to post this yesterday, the actual Veterans Day holiday. On the other hand, because it is something that deserves, at the very least, double gratitude. 

For those of you who have wondered "when is Veterans Day" or "what is Veterans Day" or even "is today a holiday", I feel like you should know. Veterans Day is every November 11, but is often observed on the preceding or following business day if it falls on a weekend. It is a day dedicated to honoring Veterans – those invaluable individuals who have served our country, past or present, in the armed forces. 

To me, Veterans Day is a reminder of my grandfathers and of a simpler time. While I know people of my generation who have served in the military, I don't associate them as veterans as readily as I do "the greatest generation." Not because they are any less selfless or I am unappreciative of their service; this is a different time. These wars are a different kind. 

I don't know whether the military feels supported the same way now as they did back then, in the first and second world wars. During a time when men were lining up to enlist not only because it was what was expected but also because it was right – and those things were not mutually exclusive.

Things seem a lot more gray now. I know people who enlisted in the military in peace time and ended up in Iraq or Afghanistan. People who went, and served, and returned but were never the same again. People who never intended to go to war.

Meanwhile, domestically, many people were questioning the war and who we were really fighting and why it was costing so much and taking so long. Why we kept sending troops and why men and women kept getting killed by things like friendly fire. 

I do not know much about the war in Iraq and Afghanistan. I do know that since becoming a mother, I'm leaning left toward being liberal and pacifistic. But whether I support a foreign war or not, I will ALWAYS support the men and women of our armed forces. They are willing to make the ultimate sacrifice on behalf of our country – on behalf of me and my family, to keep us safe.

For some things, there are no words. For families who have been forever separated by war, for spouses and children who live each day trying not to think about the "what-ifs", for anyone whose life has been irrevocably altered by their service or a loved one's – I am so, so grateful. There are few people who are so selfless and willing to make this type of sacrifice. It is not unnoticed and it is not unappreciated. You are, collectively, my hero. You deserve so much more than one Veterans Day per year and a few words on a blog page. 

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