Veterans Day merits more gratitude

Five years ago during Veterans Day, something incredible happened. While sitting around at dinner with my extended family, my grandfather began to tell me a story about his time in the Army when he was stationed in France. That was the first time I had ever heard my grandfather talk about the Army.

In that moment, I was awestruck. The only thing I was able to force out in response to the story was, “That’s incredible, Grandpa.”

I can now say that it was the perfect response. There are no words to better describe the commitment made by those who enlist and serve in our armed forces. And we owe them this day to thank them for the sacrifices they have made for our own comfort.

Unfortunately, it seems we – as a nation – have begun to ignore the importance of Veterans Day. Here in Miami, we don’t take the day off. And the schools and businesses that do take off simply look at it as another potential break from classes or work.

But, that’s not what the day is about.

It is about celebrating our proud veterans’ bravery and service. They reach beyond the limits of human boundaries and doubt to protect immeasurable and numerous freedoms. The men and women of our armed forces are nothing less than superhumans.

I can’t even wrap my mind around how they summon the strength to go the lengths they do for my lifestyle. They put their lives on the line to go into foreign countries to help protect the liberties of those living both within and outside of our borders.

Today isn’t meant to be meaningless. The fact that many schools across the nation don’t feel the need to take the day off in honor of veterans is off putting, and hopefully that will soon change. Until then, all we can do is continue to thank all of those in the service.

And it should be every day. Not just on Veterans Day.


Robert Pursell is a senior majoring in journalism.