November 11th is Veterans Day and a time to be thankful.

A while ago, my wife and I were in Washington DC where my wife competed and finished her first marathon - the Marine Corps Marathon - along with 30,000 of her closest running friends. I was so proud to see her take part in this for so many reasons.

Imagine the backdrop of our Nation's Capitol. The energy was a combination of the music, screams, cheers, jet flyovers, and louder-than-loud classic rock blaring at every inch. The fuel was thousands of US Marines that organized, ran alongside, and cheered to encourage the runners with a spirit that made even us non-runners proud.

Centennial Ceremony Held At Tomb Of The Unknown Soldier In Arlington Cemetery
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What a sight to see!

While in DC, we slept very little in order to visit as many points of interest as we could. At the Smithsonian Museum of American History, we saw the actual flag that inspired the writing of the National Anthem.

While the flag is large in size, it is frail and badly worn. The story of origin was inspiring and seeing it fully displayed makes me proud of those faded colors and those who have fought so hard to make sure they still fly.

Veterans Day Commemorated At DC's World War II Memorial
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Veterans Day is a national holiday and is recognized each year on November 11.

I'm grateful that we live in a place where we are able to be able to support important observances of all kinds. Veterans Day is a time when we can take extra care to recognize those that have served in our armed forces.

My father (National Guard) and stepfather (Navy) are two amazing examples of those who know the sacrifices of serving. I'm also a father of a military serviceman. I look up to these men with honor and respect.

Returning from the pleasant fall in DC where the leaves are only beginning to turn and returning to our Midwestern chill, the calendar says we are now only a few weeks away from Thanksgiving. It is a time when we hope to get together with family and friends to eat, watch football and after a nap, maybe venture out to do some early shopping.

At our house this year, there will be one place at the table that will sit empty. We pray for our son as he serves our country far away.

On Saturday, I hope you may consider the opportunity to think about Veterans Day. Maybe it is sharing what the day is about with your kids. It may be in your own prayers or maybe you are willing to help out a local veterans group that would be thankful for anything you were willing to do.

Here are some links for local ways to help.

Finally, if you are a veteran or currently serving in our armed forces. Thank you.


Scenes From 2021 Veterans Day Wreath-Laying Ceremony Honoring Service Members of the Vietnam war

Observing Veterans Day at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial on the National Mall on November 11, 2021 in Washington, DC. This Veterans Day wreath-laying ceremony honored military service members of the Vietnam war and the thousands of others who died in the conflict and whose names are inscribed on the memorial wall.

LOOK: 100 years of American military history

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