Good morning America,
I hope you slept well or at least rested enough to function as a human being. I wanted to take today to discuss a topic that now more than ever is relevant to our daily lives. Aftershocks of the election and the reality to many who fear for themselves or others still ripple across our hearts and minds today. Today is Veteran's Day yet like most holiday's that denote Military Service or honoring our war dead, it will be simply a day off for many American's.
We as a nation after the first World War, this day was known as Armistice Day as today is the day the first World War was ended. Yet like all things Armistice Day changed into something else as our nation grew and moved ever forward. Military service to one's nation is a calling yet many come to this calling out of reasons that are as diverse as we are as a people. My own reason for choosing to serve was as complex as I am as a person, I joined because I was the son of a Vietnam Veteran, the grandson of a Veteran of both World War II and Korea, because I believed in the documents and beliefs that led to the founding of our imperfectly beautiful nation.
Less than one percent of our nation's young men and women have served in our most recent conflicts. Let that sink in for a moment we place our nation's security and sovereignty in not even a full percentage point of American's who are willing to serve. Our nation and its people have a tradition of service to each other and to the world at large. Study our history and along with our darker selves, you will find stories of selfless sacrifice to serve others needs before our own. What makes us do this as a people? What drives our hearts and souls to commit to the larger whole? How do "We the People" find the strength of will to serve like this?
These are not rhetorical questions but ones we should ask ourselves daily as we are the beneficiaries of those sacrifices. How many of us can think of how hard our parents worked to care for us or at least some person who gave a damn about us? When is the last time we went without so others could have something, however, small that was theirs alone? When have we as a people come together and stand against injustice, intolerance, and ignorance? How do we continue forward with honor and dignity for our fellow citizens and even those who are not?
Today I call upon you, my fellow citizens to serve without reward or recognition of your service as so many have before you. I call upon you to think of others before yourself, to stand in defense of those who cannot defend themselves. I call upon you to defy those who abuse and denigrate their fellow American's and humanity for not being "like them." A life of service is NEVER wasted nor is it useless to try. That is the language of the weak and cowardly who speak such that one person "can't do much" or "why try?"
Find a way to be of service to others, do a random act of kindness each day to a random stranger. Look for opportunities in your local communities to take a stand against bigotry, intolerance, and hate. Educate yourself and others as to the rights and responsibilities that are inherent as a citizen of our beloved Federal Republic. We have a calling to serve the needs of others because in doing so we serve ourselves and our future generations.
Don't let so few of us sacrifice so much without your contribution, let us renew our faith in the goodness found within the promise of "Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness." We stand on the shoulders of giants who have bled for us and continue to do so to this day. Find it within yourself to look outwards against what is wrong or unjust, act vigorously but tempering that vigor with civility and humility. This not a call to crusade but a call to serve as so few of us have both living and dead.
I will close with this thought, in the face of confusion and terror do not falter nor let your heart quail in fear, stand boldly and firmly against the darkness around you and say "No you move..."