Each Veterans Day our great nation stops for a moment and gives thanks to those who made a collective sacrifice for democracy.

As we all pause to rightly remember those who served, we should all hope and pray that there will be no more veterans in the future. That humans will find a sturdy path to peace rather than — as is so often the case in our history — choosing the unsound road to war.

Yet the world’s inability to live together in peace persists, and more than likely in the future we will be obligated to send young men and women into harm’s way. We should do so not to conquer but to right wrongs and only as a last resort.

There are no easy answers in a world torn by strife, and to maintain peace requires cost and commitment. For our veterans that cost, that commitment, is a profound element of their lives. Those who willingly chose to defend the frontiers of democracy on foreign shores are owed a special type of gratitude. While most of us went about our lives in blissful ignorance, young men and women stood on the cutting-edge of democracy, eager to defend the concepts articulated in our Constitution and its Bill of Rights. Those who have made the sacrifice to serve and those who gave the last full measure of devotion to the Republic cannot and should not be forgotten. Their futures should not be insecure.

Every citizen of this nation needs to remember the sacrifice of our veterans not just on Veterans Day but throughout the year. In a pop culture climate where meaningful thoughts are scarce and theories constructed in the intellectual wasteland of social media hold sway it can be difficult to focus on a long-term concept such as care for veterans.

We cannot idly step away on Nov. 12 and regulate the debt we owe veterans to the basement of our collective consciousnesses. America has thousands of veterans, and a great many of them are disabled or suffering from the impacts of combat. They not only need our attention year-around, but deserve it.

We must do all we can legislatively for our veterans. For their future, for their education and for their health. Each one of them made a sacrifice most of us did not. So while events across the nation reverberate on this day in small towns and big cities we should all make a commitment to remember our veterans throughout the year, not just on Nov. 11, and then pledge to ensure those who made the sacrifice for freedom are not forgotten.