Veterans Day. Originally a day of remembrance, the celebration of the Armistice - the end of the "War to end all wars" one hundred years ago. Of course, that wasn't the "Last War" then, with another global conflict less than three decades later, and many others to follow from that point. But still a day, every year, where those of us who've laid our lives on the line are celebrated for our Honor, courage, and commitment.
Where Memorial Day honors the fallen - those who gave the ultimate sacrifice - Veterans Day is about those who served and survived. In more recent years, it has been expanded to include those still serving, not only in the military, but emergency services and first responders. We still remember the fallen, give respect to the living, honoring the freedom we have because of the brave men and women who serve.
Around the world, many countries use this time to celebrate their uniformed heroes, honor those who were lost. Whether it's on the original Armistice Day, or another time, soldiers, sailors, and other brave souls are shown respect for their service, just as we do on Veterans Day.
The French still call it "Armistice Day" and it is a national holiday which often brings international leaders in a celebration of unity, a remembrance of the alliances which stood against their enemies during the global conflicts of the last century. It is not a time for parades, nor of pomp and circumstance, but rather a somber reflection of the solidarity of nations. Leaders of nations come together to meet, walk together in unity, speak together of Peace. It is not a time for posturing, making the day about a single country, or single person.
Sacrifice. Veterans Day may be intended here to honor the living who have survived their services in the military, show respect for those who still put their lives on the line at home and abroad, but it is also a day to remember the sacrifices made before, and put others before ourselves. Commitment to the future, improving relations between all nations so the conflicts of the past remain in the past, and a unification of people throughout the world. Greater understanding between the countries and their citizens, across the ethnic, political, and religious divides, and a shared compassion that transcends their differences.
Even the leaders of nations need to make sacrifices as they represent their people while abroad. We, the People, need to be proud of what our nation does, and how our nation is represented. This feeling is what unites the citizens, promotes the advancements of society as a whole.