“They also serve, who only stand and wait” is a line from one of John Milton’s poems. A sonnet, actually. It is one of my favorite poems where he asks God how he can be useful to Him because he is blind. Where others can do all these great things, Milton is limited and, thus, questions his worthiness in God’s plan and his stature among men.
Anyone who does their best, who puts in an honest effort to hold their own, has done their job. Any veteran who served, whether directing fire from a position on the front lines, or packing MRE’s for shipment back stateside, is doing their part to ensure victory. There are no small parts, every job is important, and is there for a reason. A veteran is a veteran, and November 11th is there to recognize all of them.
Here is Milton’s poem, for those interested. It’s one of my favorites.
When I consider how my light is spent
Ere half my days in this dark world and wide,
And that one Talent which is death to hide
Lodged with me useless, though my soul more bent
To serve therewith my Maker, and present
My true account, lest He returning chide,
“Doth God exact day-labour, light denied?”
I fondly ask. But Patience, to prevent
That murmur, soon replies, “God doth not need
Either man’s work or his own gifts. Who best
Bear his mild yoke, they serve him best. His state
Is kingly: thousands at his bidding speed,
And post o’er land and ocean without rest;
They also serve who only stand and wait.”
More on John Milton may be found here.