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picture from Amazon.com

This morning as I was watching the CNN news an interview caught my attention about a new book being released November 12—just after our nation’s celebration of Veterans Day on November 11.

The book, entitled Veterans: Heroes in Our Neighborhood,  is a children’s picture book by Valerie Pfundstein.   The rhyming picture book tells the story of a young boy who discovers heroes live all around him. We’re not talking superheroes here, like Spiderman or Superman, but ordinary people—the butcher, the barber, the baker, the librarian, and other people in his neighborhood—who served in the American military, protecting his freedom and liberty.

Normally I wouldn’t mention a book on this blog that I hadn’t read, but I love rhyming children’s books, and I appreciate the many sacrifices our veterans have made for me and my country. Thanking these brave souls ranks high on my list. Teaching our children to understand the sacrifices these men and women have made for us and our nation is important too.

If you don’t know the history of Veterans Day, here’s a quick run down.

Originally known as Armistice Day, the day marked the end of hostilities on the Western Front  between the Allied Nations and Germany in WWI, also known as the Great War or the War to end all Wars. The treaty was signed on the eleventh hour of the eleventh day of the eleventh month in 1918. Congress later changed the name of the American celebration to Veterans Day. The day is set aside to honor all veterans, those living and those who have died in service to their country.

Every November 11th a ceremony at Arlington Cemetery begins at 11:00 am with a wreath laid at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. A parade of colors by various veteran organization and speeches from dignitaries round out the celebration. The Veterans Day National Ceremony is held each year on November 11th   no matter what day of the week the 11th falls on.

As we all known, WWI was not the war to end all wars. The United States has been through several wars since the Armistice Treaty was signed in Compiègne, France.  With 9.2 million veterans over the age of 65 and 1.9 million veterans under the age of 35 among the ranks of our citizens, it’s probably safe to say every person in America knows a soldier or the family of a soldier. As the young boy in Valerie’s book discovers, our military personnel come from all walks of life. However, they have one thing in common: they are willing to lay their lives on the line so you and I, our children, our grandchildren, and great-grandchildren can remain free.

This November 11, take a minute to say thanks to a soldier, or the family of a soldier, or a veteran for the sacrifices they have made to ensure democracy and freedom at home and around the world. Then say a prayer for all our military men and women serving around the world. It’s the least we can do for the bravest of our nation.

Has anyone in your family served in the military?