Everybody remembers 9/11. But only a few remember the significance of 11/11. Originally it commemorated Armistice Day, the blessed point in time when World War I was finally over. Eleven million military personnel and seven million civilians perished in that dreadful conflict. Now 11/11 is known as Veterans Day, America’s opportunity to show some appreciation and support for its men and women in uniform.
We remember especially those who are assigned to service outside the country. Some are able to take their families with them to base housing. Many have to manage long-distance marriages, burdened with the realization that their children are growing up without them. Many have served in live-fire zones and for the rest of their lives will have to live with the fear of IEDs and snipers.
In his last few hours of freedom before his own death, Jesus spoke of the honor, sacrifice, and worth of saving the lives of others at the risk of your own: “Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends” (John 15:13). He laid down his so that you and I could receive the forgiveness of our sins, the favor and blessings of God, and a resurrection like his. He calls us friends. It is our most priceless asset.
The people whom we remember today are showing that kind of love. They are risking their lives to help preserve yours and mine. We are grateful for them all.