Thank you, veterans

Rather than seeing Veteran’s day as a time for shopping, or a “day off” from your day-to-day grind, take the time to appreciate what the day stands for.

To those men and women who have served, and are serving, in our armed forces, Veteran’s Day is a significant day. To those who were raised in households where one or more family members had served, Veteran’s Day is a day to remember. Sadly, this is not the case for the remaining population of the United States of America. To everyone else it’s a time for sales and discounts and a three day weekend. This is, for all intents and purposes, a slap in the face to the men and women who have sacrificed their own well being for the sake of this country.

Veteran’s Day is not a new concept. Marking the armistice, or seize fire, between the Allied forces and Germany during World War I, Veteran’s Day has been a part of America for nearly a century. But, rather than honoring those who have served and still serve, we tend to forget who Veteran’s Day is actually for.

It is not an excuse to go shopping. It is not so you can have a three or four day weekend. Originally the date was set aside to honor the men who had fought in the first World War, at the time the greatest mobilization of America’s armed forces. Following the second World War, Nov. 11 went from being referred to as Armistice Day to Veteran’s Day. On Jun.1,1954, a public law was passed that marked Nov.11 as a day to honor American veterans of all wars.The law doesn’t state that Veteran’s Day is for civilians to go on shopping sprees or sleep in late rather than going to work. It’s a day to honor, respect, and thank the men and women who have dedicated themselves to the protection of our country.

Regardless of what your opinion is in regards to the wars America chooses to fight, you should support and respect our troops. Does America get involved in fights that are none of our business? Sometimes, yes we do. Have we gone to war for reasons that are unclear to the American public? Yes, we have. But, at the end of the day, the men and women who are out there fighting these wars are just like the rest of us. They are the sons, daughters, fathers, mothers, brother and sisters of regular Americans. And they deserve are respect and admiration year round.

If you can’t take the time to appreciate them during the other 364 days of the year, at least have the decency to do so on their day. Veteran’s day is a not a holiday for us civilians to do whatever we please. It’s a day to say thank you to all the veterans who were lucky enough to come home. At the very least these soldiers deserve our respect and gratitude for the sacrifices they have made.

Update: the headline for the article was updated from “Veteran’s Day” to “Thank you, veterans”. 12:21 p.m. 11/20/2014.