In the recently concluded presidential campaign, neither of the two major candidates was a military veteran — a development that would have been considered unusual a generation ago.

But the creation of an all-volunteer military has meant that military service is no longer something broadly experienced in America. That change means fewer of us have firsthand knowledge of the sacrifices required by serving in the military.

Given that reality, today’s observance of the Veterans Day might not resonate as deeply as it should across America. But Americans need to remember the hardships endured by veterans so that the United States can remain strong.

Those sacrifices are much too easy to forget. The ranks of World War II and Korean War vets are dwindling, and the Vietnam War and Operation Desert Storm are fading from popular memory, too.

America’s recent military involvement in Iraq is perhaps more present in the public mind, and the ongoing presence of U.S. troops in Afghanistan is a vivid reminder of the costs of military service.

We wonder, though, how often Americans stop to think about the challenges faced by our military personnel.

Today is a day to acknowledge the contributions of our military veterans, and to thank them for their service.