Have you ever thought about the month of November? It’s a big month for America.

Election Day. Veterans Day. Thanksgiving. (And deer opener, if you’re a North Dakotan!)

By the time you read this, it is likely you (if you are of age) have already voted. Perhaps we even know the outcome of the November election.

For those of you who voted and exercised the right and responsibility we have as Americans to participate in our nation’s democratic process, well done! Whether or not your candidate was successful, I hope we can turn the corner. It is time to move forward together and tackle the challenges facing us on all levels, from a global scale right down to those in each and every local community.

If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together. You may be familiar with this African proverb, often referenced, but seemingly practiced less frequently these days.

The troubles of today will not be solved by any one leader, country, political party, ideology, race or gender, or by pointing out who is right and who is wrong. We, and I mean we, are all in this together.

Just as we’ve seen before during times of worldwide conflict and unrest, there is sacrifice and hardship. Often, those who served in the military, and the families who supported them, bore the brunt of these engagements. Through the shared sacrifices of the men and women of the armed forces and their families, disruption was minimized “back home” and everyday life didn’t change all that much for the majority of Americans.

For that, we must show our gratitude to the men and women who served, whether overseas or in country during times of war, or during times of peace, in combat or non-combat. Every job is important and contributes to the overall success of the mission.

Each branch of military service has a set of core values that reaffirm the importance of service, commitment and putting others before self. And though not stated specifically, the theme of that sage African proverb begins to emerge, as most who served quickly realize that if we are going to go far, we do so together. One could learn a lot from the millions of veterans who live among us, as we confront our own challenges of today.

To every woman and man, who honorably put on a uniform for others who could not, we thank you for your service. We thank you not just on Veterans Day, or during the month of November, but every day. We owe you a debt of gratitude for your service.

I would consider it extremely appropriate that we recognize veterans in the same month we give thanks and exercise our right to vote. There might just be a message in there, this November, that we all need to hear.

Josh Kramer, editor-in-chief of North Dakota Living, is executive vice president and general manager of NDAREC. Contact him at