With nearly 22 million veterans of the U.S. Armed Forces living among us, chances are good that at least one of these American heroes is a family member or close friend of you or someone in your Scouting unit. Though these men and women deserve our recognition and thanks every day, November 11th is Veterans Day, the official day on which we remember our veterans. With Scouting’s excellent relationship with the military, thousands of packs troops, teams, and crews across the country have been and will be taking time to recognize veterans in their community all week.
Here are some of our favorite quotes to help you reflect on this day.
“But, in a larger sense, we can not dedicate–we can not consecrate–we can not hallow–this ground. The brave men, living and dead, who struggled here, have consecrated it, far above our poor power to add or detract. The world will little note, nor long remember what we say here, but it can never forget what they did here. It is for us the living, rather, to be dedicated here to the unfinished work which they who fought here have thus far so nobly advanced. It is rather for us to be here dedicated to the great task remaining before us–that from these honored dead we take increased devotion to that cause for which they gave the last full measure of devotion–that we here highly resolve that these dead shall not have died in vain–that this nation, under God, shall have a new birth of freedom–and that government of the people, by the people, for the people, shall not perish from this earth.” 
President Ronald Reagan–Veterans Day, 1988
“Those who live today remember those who do not. Those who know freedom remember today those who gave up life for freedom.
Today, in honor of the dead, we conduct ceremonies. We lay wreaths. We speak words of tribute. And in our memories, in our hearts, we hold them close to us still. Yet we also know, even as their families knew when they last looked upon them, that they can never be fully ours again, that they belong now to God and to that for which they so selflessly made a final and eternal act of devotion.
We could not forget them. Even if they were not our own, we could not forget them. For all time, they are what we can only aspire to be: giving, unselfish, the epitome of human love–to lay down one’s life so that others might live.
We think on their lives. We think on their final moment. In our mind’s eye, we see young Americans in a European forest or on an Asian island or at sea or in aerial combat.
And as life expired, we know that those who could had last thoughts of us and of their love for us. As they thought of us then, so too, we think of them now, with love, with devotion, and with faith: the certainty that what they died for was worthy of their sacrifice–faith, too, in God and in the Nation that has pledged itself to His work and to the dream of human freedom, and a nation too, that today and always pledges itself to their eternal memory.
Thank you. God bless you.” 
Oh! thus be it ever, when freemen shall stand
Between their loved home and the war’s desolation!
Blest with victory and peace, may the heav’n rescued land
Praise the Power that hath made and preserved us a nation.
Then conquer we must, when our cause it is just,
And this be our motto: “In God is our trust.”
And the star-spangled banner in triumph shall wave
O’er the land of the free and the home of the brave! 
“I think there is one higher office than president and I would call that patriot.” Gary Hart 
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” John Fitzgerald Kennedy 
“But the freedom that they fought for, and the country grand they wrought for, Is their monument to-day, and for aye.” Thomas Dunn English 
Author: Heidi Sanders | Previos Marketing & PR Director, Utah National Parks Council
1. Photo, see Neal Cavuto, “Cavuto: Politicians should take a cure from ‘real heroes,'” (2013, November 11), Fox News.
2. See Abraham Lincoln Online, “The Gettysburg Address.”
3. See FSM Quote of the Day, “Ronald Reagan: Veterans Day Speech 1988.”
4. See US Flag Site, “The Star Spangled Banner.” Photo, See Neal Cavuto, “Cavuto: Politicians should take a cure from ‘real heroes,'” (2013, November 11), Fox News.
5-7. See Altius Directory, “Veterans Day Quotes.”