I’m honored to be speaking to you today on such an important occasion. Today we honor the service men and women who answered a call to defend our country. Veterans serve the American people, and that selfless sacrifice of our veterans and their families is a vital part of what makes our country so great.
Veteran’s Day was originally called Armistice Day. Armistice means peace or a truce. It was a day to celebrate the end of World War I on November 11, 1918. As time went on and we had other wars, the day grew to what it is now. It is a day to honor every member of our military, alive and fallen.
We often use the word honor but we may not completely understand how to do this. Today, I want to share my vision of how you can show honor to a veteran.
- Every veteran has a story. It is almost always a very good story, filled with triumph and sometimes tragedy. You can show honor by asking them to share their stories. Put yourself in their place as if you are there and listen intently.
- You can also show honor by respecting the flag, the national anthem, and the Pledge of Allegiance. Even if you are the only one in a group willing to show respect, be the leader. Remove your hat during the national anthem and pledge. Place your right hand over your heart and sing with pride.
- Tell a veteran thanks for their service. I hear this often and it never gets old.
- Finally, some of you will show honor by becoming a veteran someday. When I am asked if I would allow my sons to serve, my answer is an emphatic “Yes.” My country and my freedom are worth their sacrifice.
Thank you to all the veterans here today. Thank you to all the families and friends who have supported your veteran. You share an equal amount of sacrifice and the day honors you too.
This annual ceremony held by Holy Trinity Episcopal Academy is really special to me. Teaching children to love God and Country in my opinion is just as important as teaching them math and reading. So many schools across this nation fail to do this.
So, thank you for inviting me to speak this Veteran’s Day. May God bless our troops and may God bless America.
Dr. Mark Talbert