Sunday, November 13, 2011

Honoring Those Who Serve

On this Veteran's Day weekend, I remember and appreciate those who serve. I honor those men and women in our armed forces who sacrifice in service of country. In wartime, this service comes at extreme risk and personal sacrifice. We Americans are truly grateful to our Veterans and their families.

Service occurs in other ways as well: non-profit organizations, local community organizations, and simply donating time or resources to help others in need. Volunteers in the Red Cross and Peace Corps serve people in need all over the world. I believe that our best government leaders are those who pursue government service through a desire to give back.

All U.S. Presidents from John F. Kennedy to George H.W. Bush served in World War II. This wartime experience shaped their perspectives and allowed them to better serve the public in their later lives. Their sacrifice and service made them better leaders. Leaders must learn to serve those that they lead.

John F. Kennedy identifies the need for service in his 1961 inaugural address. "Ask not what your country can do for you - ask what you can do for your country...Ask of us the same high standards of strength and sacrifice which we ask of you. With a good conscience our only sure reward, with history the final judge of our deeds, let us go forth to lead the land we love, asking His blessing and His help, but knowing that here on earth God's work must truly be our own.

President Kennedy knew that we are better when we serve others. Service requires us to put the needs of others above our own. Service to others builds strength, character and provides purpose. Service creates true fulfillment through serving a greater purpose. Those who serve are better for their service. 

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