War is a curious part of the human condition. It is a summary of the worst that Man is capable of: violence on a massive scale, cruelty, greed, hatred, and the magnification of every human vice. Few of us are more “anti-war” than those who have had the misfortune to fight in one and witnessed all the folly, loss and endless pain produced by the inability of men to frequently resolve their differences without resort to the sword. Yet, in war we also see men rise to the heights of what we are capable of at our best: self-sacrifice, courage, love and the magnification of every human virtue. War as the direst of human institutions is to be bitterly regretted, but we must ever pay homage to those who find themselves in this terrible maelstrom and acquit themselves with honor.
And so on Veteran’s Day we honor all those who took time out from their regular lives to stand between the rest of us and danger. We especially remember those silent heroes who paid the ultimate price for us and who never came home. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends. (John 15:13) Our gratitude, praise and thanks is small enough compensation, but it is the poor best we can give. We are creations of a loving God, and when we return love for love we demonstrate that.
— Donald R. McClarey, American Catholic