This coming Monday, Nov. 11, is the day we celebrate Veterans’ Day. This has been celebrated since the 11th day of the 11th month of 1918 when the major conflicts had ended in World War I.

Memorial Day is a time to remember and give thanks for the veterans who died while serving in military service, while Veterans’ Day is our time to honor all those men and women who have served and are presently serving in the military for our country.

While the men and women we honor on Veterans’ Day did not sacrifice their lives, they did sacrifice a lot. All of them left their parents and families to make a commitment to defend our country. Some of them delayed their education in order to serve.

I know a lot of veterans who postponed wedding plans, while others left their new husband or wife in order to follow this dream or calling on their lives. Some could not be home when a child was born or when a parent died or when a sibling graduated from school. Birthdays, if they were celebrated, were celebrated from a distance. Before this digital age, communication was through letters and cards.

Many veterans have been so shaped, perhaps even scared, by their years of combat that they struggle physically or emotionally for years following their discharge. Their lives now include intensive counseling, wheelchairs and artificial limbs. All veterans sacrificed a significant portion of their lives for the noble cause of serving and defending millions of Americans who were living their lives and chasing their dreams.

These men and women deserve our greatest respect and our utmost gratitude. Let’s thank God for our veterans and then let’s take any and all opportunities to thank our veterans.