There are men and women who have served and are currently serving in our military. Most of them will never be known outside of their families and friends; we won't learn their names. Most of them will never be called out as heroes, even though they deserve to be recognized for their sacrifices. A lot of them will never even be thanked, even though they are appreciated by many of us.
There are also men and women who are civilians, who will most likely remain strangers to most of us. They too will never be called heroes, even though they strive to make our country a better place to live in many ways, from community service to the simple act of being kind to strangers.
I want all of those people to know that, even though I am one of those people who will most likely never know your name, you are all heroes to me. I acknowledge I am able to live the life I have not only by the love and support of people I know, but also by the time and efforts of people I don't know. As a matter of fact, my life is largely impacted by strangers, but your anonymity doesn't make me any less grateful.
You all matter. WE ALL MATTER.
From the bottom of my heart, thank you for all that have done and all that you continue to do to make this country a place worth calling home.
Ursula K. Raphael