Veterans Day: Let us never forget

Published 8:22 am Monday, November 12, 2018

Every Veterans Day is special. It’s the day, Nov. 11, set aside every year to honor the brave men and women who have defended this country. Ceremonies and special events are held to show them the appreciation and honor they have earned.
But this year, Veterans Day has special meaning. It’s the 100th commemoration of the event that eventually led to Veterans Day  —  the end of World War I, the War to End All Wars. All major hostilities in the conflict officially ended in 1918, at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month. First known as Armistice Day, the day was renamed to Veterans Day in the 1950s. Since the 11th falls on a Sunday this year, the holiday will be formally recognized on Monday.
Millions of Americans have served and are serving this country. While they deserve a day of recognition, they should receive so much more.
That’s why, in addition to flying the flag and making respectful and thankful social media posts, something more tangible is needed. Let’s not only tell veterans we appreciate them, let’s show them. When you come in contact with a veteran, thank him or her for their service. If they are in uniform, salute them.
Veterans fought to preserve the values of America. They fought to preserve our right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. They fought because our country asked them to take up arms.
They went where they were sent. They did what they had to do. And they prayed they would survive to return home to family and friends.
Some did not. We remember them with solemn ceremonies such as the playing of Taps at funerals and by flying our flags at half-staff to honor the fallen and by remembering their sacrifices.
Yes, we honor those who have died but we also should be aware that Veterans Day is for those veterans who are still here, the men and women who are making and have made a difference in communities around our nation.
Veterans share a strong bond, a love of country and a devotion to their comrades. That’s something we acknowledge, understand and respect on Veterans Day.
We shall always remember them. We are forever thankful to those who served and those serving today.
We enjoy our freedoms  —  like casting a ballot last Tuesday —  because men and women put their lives on the line, or even lost their lives, in defense of the country.

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