Today is Veterans Day in the United States. Beginning in 1919 as ‘Armistice Day’ in celebration of the end of World War I, the holiday expanded after World War II to celebrate all veterans. (At right is a 1982 photo of World War I veteran Joseph Ambrose holding the flag that covered the casket of his son, who was killed in the Korean War.)

You may or may not agree with all the times the United States has used military force in the world, but it takes real guts for somebody to volunteer to go wherever their country sends them and lay their life on the line. As the Facebook meme going around today says, “a veteran is someone, who at one point in their life, wrote a blank check payable to the United States of America for an amount up to, and including, their life.” That is no small sacrifice—it’s a lot more than the vast majority of us are willing to do.

Consider whether there is any cause you are willing to die for. Are you willing to die for your faith? For your country? For your family?

The men and women of our military have said they are willing to die for you, and any cause you (through your duly elected president and Congress) consider worthy. Even if you personally disagree with some (or even all) of the times we’ve put our military to use, the men and women who are willing to go where they are sent and do what they are asked without complaint—in simple, obedient service of their country—are among the finest men and women on Earth.

Thank you, veterans. God bless you.