11/11/09 — Never forgotten: Local veterans did not get parade, but they have our respect

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Never forgotten: Local veterans did not get parade, but they have our respect

It probably wasn't easy for veterans to sit back today and to watch the rain rather than getting ready for the annual march that honors those who have served their country.

It is unfortunate that the remnants of Hurricane Ida canceled their plans.

But lest they think that the rest of us really don't remember -- or care -- about their service or the service of their comrades, or that we don't know what the significance of today's date is, here is a message that is in the hearts of every American who values not only the nation he or she lives in, but the freedom he or she enjoys.

We know it was you who stormed the beaches, defended the positions and crawled through the trenches and swamps.

We know you left behind families, lives and normalcy to fight wars -- often in places that were very, very far away.

We know that many of you still can't tell us what it was like -- to fight, to serve, to be afraid and brave at the same time or to lose someone who was like part of your family.

We know that for many of you, those memories will be taken with you to your grave -- never shared and never forgotten.

We know that you did not serve for medals or glory -- and that all of you who have earned them would trade them in a second for a comrade who did not make it back home.

We know you did not pause to think about the consequences of running back into enemy fire to save a fellow soldier, holding a position under extreme duress or standing up to an enemy. We know also that you did not think twice about your own safety when duty called.

We know that sometimes you think we forget about what it costs to keep a country free -- and the responsibility that goes along with being the United States of America.

We know that sometimes you wonder how we could not see what an honor it is to serve and are not sure some of us know what the word "patriotism" really means.

So today, even though we will not be lining the streets to salute and honor you and the flag, we want you to know that although we do not always show it, more of us than you think get it -- and are grateful.

We won't forget -- and we will remind those who do forget -- just what freedom costs and what you and others have sacrificed for us.

This is what is in our hearts, this Veterans Day.

Published in Editorials on November 11, 2009 11:17 AM