Veteran’s Day. I cannot get through this day every year without a deep sense of humility and gratitude. The very fact that I can sit here, typing out whatever I want to say, any way I want to say it, stems from the sacrifice of others.

Most all of us know veterans. Many have fathers, mothers, grandparents, aunts and uncles, brothers and sisters, who have seen action in conflicts around the world. I knew that my great uncle served in WWI, my grandfather liberated death camps in WWII, and my dad served in the reserves. At least three of his brothers served, as well, and my cousin just retired from the Army as a Brigadier General. Yes, I was aware of family members serving in 20th and 21st century conflicts. But it wasn’t until I started researching my family’s genealogy this past summer that I realized I am descended from soldiers in every domestic and foreign conflict in which Americans have been a part, all the way back to the Revolutionary War.

It was this new knowledge that made awakening on this November 11th even more humbling because that sacrifice had suddenly become intensely personal. My family blood is soaked into the soil of our freedom. My family members personally dealt with the worry, the heartache, the not knowing if they’d ever see their soldiers again, and they did it willingly because they understood that the high price of freedom was worth paying, regardless of the sacrifice.

It’s so simple to move about in the midst of what seem easy freedoms. Most of the time we are not challenged on any of them, and we slip into a taking-it-all-for-granted entitlement before we even realize it, donning what is now an American arrogance that, unchecked, will be our undoing.

Here’s the thing: if you checked your own genealogy, the chances are quite high that you have blood in the soil of our freedom, as well. It’s not just someone else’s family who made those sacrifices, but yours, too.

Haughty arrogance is not the outcome they fought for. The torch has been passed through familial bloodlines with the expectation that we would make the same sacrifices to protect it…that we would retain the humility that understands that freedom unguarded can easily be freedom lost.

Don’t let this day pass you by without taking a moment to remember that those sacrifices were personal, to you and me. Consider what you are willing to do to carry the torch.


Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends. ~ John 15:13 ESV