Veterans Day a proper time to say thank you

AFTER THE RECENTLY COMPLETED bitter and divisive election campaign, it may be that we all need to come together on something.

That needed opportunity comes just three days after Election Day, when we mark Veterans Day Friday, Nov. 11.

There are two special days set aside each year in this country to honor the men and women who wear or have proudly worn the uniforms of the American Armed Forces.

On Memorial Day, we solemnly remember those who paid the ultimate sacrifice and laid down their lives in defense of our freedom and liberty.

And Friday, Veterans Day, we salute all of the men and women who have worn the uniform of the Army, Navy, Marines, Air Force, Coast Guard or Merchant Marines throughout our long, proud history.

In the wake of the election, we all need to remember that our system works best when those of different political persuasions work together and come to a common ground that is best for our nation as a whole.

We need even more to remember that we enjoy the rights and freedoms that we do thanks in large part to the men and women who have answered the call to serve their nation.

Those who defend our nation and our freedom are on duty 24 hours a day, seven days a week, 365 days a year.

They serve around the globe and from one end of the nation to the other. They stand ready to sacrifice time with family, home and loved ones, and even their very lives, in service to their country and to us.

It has been that way from the days of the Minutemen on the green at Lexington and Concord, to the volunteers in blue and grey answering the call in the Civil War, to the men and women who crossed the Atlantic and the Pacific to fight in World War II, down to today’s young people who serve in the Global War On Terrorism.

They are, and always have been, men and women from all walks and stations of life – our neighbors, our parents, our children, our friends.

Their lives are as busy, full and demanding as ours, yet they stand and have stood willing and ready to answer the call when needed.

And when their time to serve has ended, they have returned to their lives as our neighbors, our parents, our children, our friends.

For their service and their sacrifice, we owe our veterans a debt of gratitude that is immeasurable. It is easy sometimes to take our rights and freedoms for granted. But it is because so many have served to preserve them that we can exercise and enjoy them without giving them a second thought.

There are millions of veterans among us today. It will only take a moment of time this weekend to say thank you to a veteran, but it’s the least one can do to repay the debt we all owe them.

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