Veteran’s Day: Reflection of Duty and Sacrifice

  • Published
  • By Maj. Joann N. Kenneally
  • Commander, 97th Contracting Squadron
For more than 200 years, the Armed Forces of the United States have been responsible for ensuring the freedoms of all Americans. Every year, we gather together to remember those who served, fought and gave the ultimate sacrifice in service to our nation. Veteran's Day is a time to reflect upon the incredible commitment each servicemember makes, whether they see a day of battle or serve our country during a time of peace.
When I try to explain to someone outside of the military exactly what we do, on a daily basis or towards the overall mission of the military, I am at a loss for words. There is absolutely no method which encompasses all we do as a military force because most of the work we accomplish is immeasurable. It was said most eloquently by Father Dennis Edward O'Brien, a Sergeant in the U.S. Marine Corps, "It is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us the freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the campus organizer, who gives us the freedom to demonstrate. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, who serves beneath the flag and whose coffin is draped by the flag, who allows the protester to burn the flag." In this famous quote, we are reminded of the incredible sacrifice our veterans and service members made while ensuring the freedoms we Americans enjoy to this day.

Since its first observation as Armistice Day on November 11, 1918, Veteran's Day has been a call to all Americans to commemorate with thanksgiving, prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations. It is our duty as service men and women to set the example for all others of what Veteran's Day truly means. It is not solely an annual ritual where we reflect for a long, slow count of twelve on the 11th hour on the 11th day of the 11th month; it is so much more than a brief pause in our day. It is not a day of rest, but a call to action. Americans everywhere ought to see Veteran's Day as a rejuvenation of the spirit to refocus and continue their efforts to celebrate and support the sacrifices of those who served. Take time to not only thank those who served before you but, also, your colleagues for serving alongside you. I challenge you to commit yourself, throughout the year, in some manner to support the Veterans of this great nation. It is through efforts like this, that we are able to rise above the rest and call ourselves the United States of America.