Veterans Day, 2008
In 1948, Gen. Omar Bradley said, “Ours is a world of nuclear giants and ethical infants. We know more about war than we know about peace, more about killing than we know about living.” The day was November 11, Veterans Day.
Bradley had emerged from WWII as a highly decorated field commander. His military career stretched over 38 years – through WWI, WWII, and the Korean War.
It may seem odd that a man who spent his life dedicated to the business of war would speak so wistfully of peace. But who is better qualified than one who had seen more than his share of war? Bradley understood that wars are fought to attain peace, and that it was difficult to achieve. He had seen the worst of humanity during his military life, but he had seen the best as well – the courage, the optimism, and the selflessness needed to fight wars, and to end them.
I pray the day will come when we finally discover the secret to sustaining peace, when our service men and women are charged with guarding peace instead of chasing it. Until that day, I am grateful there are those who are willing to join the pursuit, willing to defend our freedoms, willing to become known forever as veterans.
To those of you who are veterans, I thank you.