Each year on Veterans Day, we pause to honor those who stepped forward, wore the uniform, and served in the name of our country. At its most fundamental, it’s a day that asks us to give one thing: a simple thank you to our veterans for their service.
But when you dig a little deeper, Veterans Day is so much more than that. In fact, I would suggest that this day is a profound gift to us all, if we’re willing to receive it. Hear me out.
Looking at the world today, as we emerge from a global pandemic and ponder a future that can, at moments, feel disordered and disquieting, I am in awe of our collective resilience. But I am also aware that, in times of uncertainty and troubling headlines, we can also experience great stress.
What can a nation of worried people do in times like these?
Actually, there is one thing. It’s backed by scientists and doctors. But honestly, it’s what many of our grandparents knew all along: that when we need to restore ourselves, there are few things as powerful (and within our own power) as the simple act of stopping everything for a minute or two. No busy hands, no lit screens. Just a moment of doing nothing… nothing but the biggest thing of all: reflecting on something for which we are grateful. Whether we call that sweet interlude a meditation, an exercise, or a prayer, when it brings you to gratitude and awe, it brings you peace.
This year, I hope you will consider participating in our nation’s moment of silence on Veterans Day. I hope you will choose to focus your reflections on something that surely can transcend some of the fears, losses, or worries you carry with you. I hope you might turn your thoughts to the knowledge that you are part of a community that has, for centuries, been surrounded by the protective, collective might of your country’s veterans. Most of these people, joined by common purpose and a shared willingness to sacrifice their all for your country lived, served, and died before you were even born. Even those who are alive today are mostly strangers to you. Yet they willingly placed themselves between you and danger. And when they took off the uniform, they passed that awesome responsibility to a next generation ready to do the same. All for you. All for us. All to play their enormous yet too often unsung part in holding us all together.
That’s how I’ll be focusing my moment of silence this year. I hope you and millions more will join me, wherever you are, in this shared reflection. And on behalf of all of us at Skybridge Americas, I wish you all a peaceful and thoughtful Veterans Day.