It has been a great honor and privilege to serve as the president of the Student Veterans Association (SVA) here at IWP. As our nation stands divided and uncertain, it makes me realize that instability is the state in which our men and women in uniform live every day. Although I have never had the opportunity of serving on the front lines in honor of this great nation, many of my great friends and our nation’s most admirable individuals are sacrificing their lives for our comfort. As I sit here reflecting this Veterans Day, all I can think about is a poem I read a few years ago…
It is the veteran, not the preacher, who has given you freedom of religion.
It is the veteran, not the reporter, who has given you freedom of the press.
It is the veteran, not the poet, who has given you freedom of speech.
It is the veteran, not the protester, who has given you freedom to assemble.
It is the veteran, not the lawyer, who has given you the right to a fair trial.
It is the veteran, not the politician, who has given you the right to vote.
It is the veteran, who salutes the Flag, who serves under the Flag, whose coffin is draped by the Flag.
The poem concludes with a rather dark ending, but it reminds us of the ultimate sacrifice that some are willing to give for us and the safety of this nation, reminding us all of the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier.
On behalf of IWP and SVA, I would like to truly thank those who serve our country. Our nation was founded on keeping its patriots safe from oppressors, and we must find the time to express the simple “thank you” to those who owe us that great pleasure.
That “thank you” deserves to be expressed to the patriots who oftentimes go unrecognized. That is why days like Veterans Day exist. It is so easy to forget when you live comfortably. So, as someone who is living comfortably, I did want to say:
To all of those who have and will put their lives on the line,
From the bottom of my heart, I do want to say thank you. This is a very simple way of saying, there has not been enough appreciation shown towards those who keep our country safe every day. Thank you for your dedication to our country.
President of the Student Veterans Association – IWP