Today is Veteran’s Day—the special day on the annual calendar when we honor those who have served in the US Armed Forces. Since 1918, Americans have observed this day, chosen because the armistice agreement that ended World War I came into effect at “the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month.” It is a day that is honored as Armistice Day or Remembrance Day in several other countries.

Last week I shared with you the story of Desmond Doss, the conscientious objector who refused to carry a gun, but as a medic saved more than 75 men on “Hacksaw Ridge” during the battle for Okinawa during World War II. Millions will see his story portrayed in the film this autumn, and they will be reminded again of the importance of the service given by our veterans.

Throughout the United States today there will be ceremonies and remembrances honoring our veterans, including the ceremony at 11 o’clock here in Washington at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. Each of these public expressions of honor and gratitude are important, and they especially help us honor the veterans who have passed on.

Gordon Miller, author of Lincoln, the Preserver of the Union, wrote, “The nation which fails to honor its heroes, the memory of its heroes, whether those heroes be living or dead, does not deserve to live, and it will not live.”

On this Veteran’s Day let us be mindful of our heroes, living and dead. To all of our veterans—especially those who now work with us at Adventist HealthCare—thank you for your service and dedication.