These days, it’s hard to turn on a television without being inundated with images of chaos, death and destruction. The 24-hour news cycle has drastically changed how media covers current events – from presidential elections to natural disasters. It is easy to be overwhelmed by the weight of the world and the seemingly endless negative coverage that permeates our news outlets.
While we must be aware of people’s hardships in both our own country and around the world, we also can use these uncertain times to take stock of our blessings and remember just how lucky we are to call the United States our home. For me, it begins by always acknowledging the sacrifice of our servicemen and women, celebrating their unrivaled commitment to our country, and appreciating their dedication to protecting the values that make us uniquely American: life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.
This week, we give pause to celebrate Veterans Day. This is a special time for us as Americans, regardless of our individual background, allowing us to reconnect with our history and core values by honoring those who have given so much for the ideals we cherish.
It is important to note the original intent of this national day of recognition was to thank living veterans for their loyal service to our country. Nov. 11 of each year is the day we set aside as one collective nation to ensure our real-life heroes know we appreciate the sacrifices they have made to keep our country safe and free.
It is equally important to never forget the brave and selfless families who have undoubtedly spent countless nights praying for their loved ones’ safe return home. They truly are the foundation for which our veterans find their strength while away. The price they pay is just as great as the sacrifices their loved ones make to keep us safe, and we cannot overlook the significant role they play in protecting our liberties and freedoms.
Our soldiers have shown us time and time again that they will go to the ends of the Earth, and do whatever they can, to protect our families’ ability to be free. The least we can do is acknowledge and support our veterans and their families any way we can.
(The writer has been Georgia’s lieutenant governor since 2007.)