Dear Why Team member,
I hope this week’s message finds you well and living in gratitude.
For this week we consider:
Why Thank Our Veterans?
I certainly hope the answer is obvious, but sadly, maybe not so obvious today as in the past. My favorite answer to why we thank our veterans is because Freedom isn’t Free; clearly the highest of price has been paid and is still being paid for the lives we live today. Unfortunately, just like most of our comforts, this can easily be taken for granted. Rare is it to find those who will risk their life to protect others. Generations are now born into a freedom that feels like an entitlement. While we, in America, believe that freedom is an inalienable right, that does not mean it cannot be taken away from us, nor need-not be protected.
No matter what you may believe about our military spending or our choices regarding war – most of us agree on one point: there are real people who chose and are choosing to live their lives in a dedicated manner to protect and serve ours.
Recently, I watched the Award-Winning HBO miniseries titled: The Pacific, produced and directed by Steven Spielberg and Tom Hanks. If you do or if you do not have a deep appreciation for what our veterans have done for us, it is a series I highly recommend. There are of course many scenes that are difficult to watch and the question “Why?” will certainly arise again and again, but truth be known, a significant price has been paid for generations, in many different wars, so that we may live with the freedoms we live with today. Consider those who fought through those wars, they did it because they believed in their duty or because life didn’t offer them an alternative, but they stuck through bad and good, and they recognized the responsibility on their shoulders: it’s because of them that the ones at home are protected. They risked MUCH for a bigger purpose than a self-centered one.
So many of our days can be easily consumed by minutia; by our to-do lists and the activities involved in daily living. Setting aside specific days for remembrance provides us with opportunities to both experience more gratitude and to give it to others. Consider setting aside more of your time to consider why a specific Holiday or Remembrance Day has been set aside for recognition. Today, with our smartphones, we can easily access a little more history than we may have known before. In the year ahead, note the upcoming days of remembrance and read a book or watch a movie that will serve to heighten your appreciation when the day of recognition arrives.
It seemed to me that this year Veterans Day received a bit more recognition than in recent years, what I saw in social media and even heard on a flight where specific chocolates were given out, with the printing on the package reading:
With Respect, Honor & Gratitude:
THANK YOU, VETERANS!
It is more likely that I noticed more recognition this year because I was more present, no doubt fueled by my recent viewing of the WWII miniseries.
If Veterans Day flew by for you, consider taking a moment now to feel gratitude for the men and women who served, and to consider their immediate families who support those who serve us and who have lost loved ones for us. Respect and Honor are not words we consider very often but, would be well served to do so.
Our own self-absorption can narrow our field of vision and have us stressing over the smallest of things. Remembrance days like Veterans Day can give us back much needed and helpful perspective.
The Holiday season is upon us, and it is fitting that Veterans Day kicks it off - for without the service and sacrifice of our Veterans we would not be able to celebrate the way we do.
With deep gratitude for those who have served and to those who are currently serving: