On this day in the United States, we celebrate Veterans Day. It is a day set aside to pay tribute to all American veterans, whether living or dead. It is a day for laying wreaths and hanging flags, and contemplating the meaning of sacrifice and service.
Truthfully, this is something I wish we remembered to do every day. There are men and women in our country who have given everything in service, and their families have sacrificed right along with them. It is a humbling thing to think about: complete strangers risking their lives so that the rest of us can enjoy ours.
In my recent novel, The House on the Hill, one of the characters says “There’s no such thing as heroes. There’s only folks who do what they can.” It was a line that just popped out of nowhere, materializing in my imagination and traveling down through my fingers and onto the page, as if the young woman who utters it inside the story had muttered it into my ear as I was typing. And once she had spoken, she couldn’t take it back.
Although heroes do exist (I’ve been fortunate to meet a few, as I’m sure you have), what I wrote in that book is true, in a way. The heroes that I have met were essentially ordinary people who decided to do what they could – everything they could – to ensure the safety of our nation. They weren’t born with superpowers, they don’t have capes or Batcaves. They are regular men and women who became extraordinary through the power of their decision to serve, and their valor in following through on that decision.
Thank you, veterans. It is our privilege to honor you, today and everyday. ❤️🇺🇸🙏