Just last week my wife, my daughter Kasey and I returned from a trip to Texas. We were there speaking and telling stories at a home schooling conference. On the way home, we stopped in New Orleans to visit the National World War II museum. It was breathtaking!
World War II ended just a few years before I was born. When I was your age, there were lots and lots of veterans of that war around. They were everywhere. People treated them with great respect because they were the men who had saved the world from Hitler. Everybody knew that they had made great sacrifices. Some of them had lost arms or legs. Some had become blind. Most of them had spent years away from their families and friends.
But World War II is far in the past now. The veterans are very old men in their eighties and nineties. Many of them have died and most of them will be gone in a few years from now. Sadly, because there have been other wars since, many people do not appreciate these old vets or understand the great things they did so all of us could be free.
Think about that the next time you see an old man with a hat that tells you he is a veteran of World War II. Smile at him and shake his hand. Thank him for his service and ask him what he did in the war. It will mean an awful lot for him to know that young people still honor him and appreciate his sacrifices for the rest of us.