Today is Veteran's Day in the United States--the day we honor the men and women of our Armed Forces who serve and protect our country.* Regardless of our current military actions in parts of the world we shouldn't be in (and regardless of how you feel about the war in Iraq), today is the day to thank those who put their lives on the line to ensure our domestic tranquility and secure peace.
On this Veteran's Day, I pay tribute to my late grandfather, who served in World War II with the U.S. Army. He sacrifice, along with millions of others, is memorialized here at the World War II Memorial on the National Mall. As you approach the memorial from the east side across from the Washington Monument and facing the Lincoln Memorial to the west, you read these words carved in granite:
Here, in the presence of Washington and Lincoln, one the eighteenth century father, the other the nineteenth century preserver of our nation, we honor those twentieth century Americans who took up the struggle during the Second World War and made the sacrifices to perpetuate the gift our forefathers entrusted to us: a nation conceived in liberty and justice.
* In Australia and Canada, it's Remembrance Day, Remembrance Sunday in Great Britain, Armistice in France, and Wapenstilstandsdag in Belgium. All of these commemorations mark the day and hour in 1918--November the 11th at 11:00 a.m.--when the guns of World War I fell silent on the Western Front.
Photo copyright: D.C. Confidential, 11/07