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Heroes Among Us

We don't celebrate Veterans Day, but we do observe it--with gratitude and solemnity. This day was known for decades as Armistice Day. It commemorated that moment in 1918 when the world held its breath: the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month.

Ninety-three years ago, we saw the end of what they then called the Great War. Following four terrible years of carnage in Europe, Germany appealed to U.S. President Wilson for an armistice. That's a truce, not a surrender. Very soon, however, the victorious allies treated Germany's call as a surrender. And, most tragically, the allies sowed the dragon's teeth that would lead to an even greater war.

Today, we honor the service of all veterans. I count it a privilege to be one of the millions who have worn the uniform of the United States Marines. The Corps is today, as it has been since 1775, "first to fight." And the Marines are fighting in Kandahar and Helmand Provinces in Afghanistan. The world is very different today than it was on that first Armistice Day, but the tradition of service before self is still very much alive.

The young Americans in our all-volunteer military of today deserve our full support and our fervent prayers. We can and we do debate vigorously over what policies will best secure our liberties and protect this home of freedom. This is what our military has always fought for. For the last 236 years, the armed forces of the United States have been the shield of the republic.

Today is a day to honor their sacrifices--but it's also a day to pray for the families of those service members. We think of them especially as we approach Thanksgiving Day and the Christmas season. It's very hard for those dedicated military families to endure the long and dangerous separations. Remember that during World War II, one in 11 Americans were in uniform. These days, only one in 200 Americans man the battlements of freedom. We are in their debt. God bless them all.

Source: Family Research Council (FRC)