Good morning military veterans. Today, Nov. 11, Americans across the massive landscape of this great nation of ours salute you on this traditional Veterans Day, a day set aside for you. It doesn’t matter if you served in war or in peacetime. It doesn’t matter if you were a hero in combat or a company clerk stationed in the United States. What does matter is that you answered the call to duty and served our country.

This day originated in the aftermath of World War I, a brutal conflict that involved our finest from April 9, 1917, to Nov. 11, 1918. It was called the war that was supposed to end all wars. Remember reading about it in your high school history classes, or hearing chilling stories about it from your fathers and grandfathers?

Since that awful experience our country has been engaged in World War II, Korean War, Vietnam War, Persian Gulf War, Iraq War and ugly skirmishes in Afghanistan, Syria and other parts of a big and wide world. When you weren’t fighting a war you were stationed in all corners of the world ready to protect us from evil people who intended to inflict pain and suffering, or protect us here on the homefront.

Through all of this service you’ve been willing to sacrifice, you’ve been brave and loyal, and you’ve been the finest soldier, sailor, airmen and Marine of any military in the world. Our country is proud of you. As veterans, we realize your families have suffered, too, when you are on active duty and serving wherever duty takes you. For your families, there is emotional stress, perhaps financial struggles and the painful changes that occur in lifestyles.

There will be many different ways in which Americans will remember you today. School children will hold special assemblies to honor you for your service. There will be parades and patriotic music. Speaker-after-speaker will take to the podium and salute your work. Military organizations will conduct special services. Scores of folks will cross the Potomac River and visit Arlington National Cemetery to witness the impressive ceremonies taking place. A wreath will be placed at the historic Tomb of the Unknowns.

You are the reason Americans will pause today to recognize your service to the country. This is your day to accept a pat on the back for a job well done. This is a day we thank you for your service.