On November 11th every year, the United States honors the men and women who are serving and have served in its armed forces on Veterans Day.

The day was originally Armistice Day, created at the end of World War I by President Woodrow Wilson, to commemorate the end of the “war to end all wars.”

Sadly, World War I did not end all wars. World War II ensued, followed by the Korean War, the Cold War and more. Men and women of the United States Armed Forces continued to put their lives on the line, not only for the safety and liberty of the American people, but for the dignity of all people of the world.

In many ways, the founding ideals and dream of the United States behoove it to serve the world as it has. The founding fathers began the American journey as an experiment, meant to prove to the world that a people could and should self-govern, and that government should be “for the people and by the people,” upholding the inalienable rights and liberties endowed by our creator.

The United States has been a force for positive change in many ways: fighting for the right for self-determination of colonized people, investing in rebuilding war-torn nations (including former enemy nations), establishing international bodies to gather the voices of nations to collectively find solutions to peace and other global challenges, challenging totalitarian regimes and fighting for the freedoms and rights of oppressed people.

America’s legacy of service to the world is often overshadowed in the back and forth between current political divisions in the United States.

But it becomes palpable in the men and women, the U.S. veterans, who place their lives in the line of fire to secure stability not just for the United States, but for the world.

Thank you for your service.