Every year since we moved here, Veteran's Day has meant one thing to our household: the day we take the pets to the veterinarian. It wasn't a thing we planned to do the first year, but when we found out that Tim had the day off and the cats had to get to the vet, it was easier for him to do it than for me to take twin cats and twin girls to the vet. The next year, we had twin cats, twin girls, and a redhead little man to account for. Little red was only 10 days old on Veteran's Day, and I had no plans on taking him out. Thus the tradition, of Tim taking the animals to the vet, was born.
This morning, as I stood at the veterinarian with Lucy and Shadow (now down one cat and up one dog), I realized we need to change our ways. It's fine to know that each Veteran's Day we'll be taking in the pets, but it's more important to start the day with a remembrance of what Veteran's Day actually is and who it honors.
So next year, we might still drag the animals in for their yearly check ups, but it certainly won't be until we've had a discussion with the kids at the breakfast table. We'll talk about our veterans, what they've done, how they've been affected by their jobs, how we all take so many things, like freedom, for granted. I'll be sure to put the veteran back in Veteran's Day, at least in this household.