Yesterday, I was honored to serve as the guest speaker at the Veterans' Day Assembly at Franklin Elementary School. Upon asking students to name some of their favorite things, I was barraged with a loud, lengthy list! In addition to the large list of toys and activities, the group agreed that they love their parents, grandparents, friends, and pets.
When asked about the meaning of patriotism, it was obvious that their teachers had done a very thorough job in preparing them, as many gave appropriate answers, understanding that the simple definition of patriotism is love of country.
Again, they were well-versed on the meaning of a military veteran as one who has served in one of many branches of our armed services. Several veterans attended the assembly and were introduced by their child or grandchild, noting branch of service and area of conflict.
The preamble of our United States Constitution states:
We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union, establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this constitution for the United States of America.
In more elementary terms, what does that really mean? Peace, fairness, well-being, liberty, freedom and protection were much easier terms for these students to comprehend.
Further discussion revealed that these young students certainly understand what it means to be free. At their young age, they already know that it allows us to choose where we live, receive an education, and decide on a number of different careers or professions.
Freedom is truly a precious gift, one that our military veterans protect for us. Take a moment today to reflect on this gift and how different our lives would be without it.
We celebrate Veterans' Day to honor these patriots. They deserve not only our sincere appreciation and respect, but love.