11/12/12 — Thank a veteran: If you value freedom, take time to appreciate those who defend it

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Thank a veteran: If you value freedom, take time to appreciate those who defend it

They came from all walks of life -- country boys and city boys.

What they all had in common was their desire to serve their country and the courage to answer the call.

Today, the corps of veterans includes women, but the new airmen, soldiers, sailors and Marines share that same commitment, same dedication and the same undeniable love of country that makes them give up their lives to serve.

And today is the day we honor them.

Most of us do not often think about what the members of the Armed Services have done for us. We know the stories about World War I and II, and Korea. We have listened to the accounts of those who were there in Vietnam. We have witnessed the Persian Gulf war and have watched the footage from the Middle East post-Sept. 11, 2001.

We know the sacrifices, and we are touched by the bravery -- and we never cease to marvel at the heroism that comes from these men and women on a daily basis.

The problem is, we do not really know how to say thank you.

Truth is, the best way to thank a veteran is to honor the country that they protect.

This nation was built on freedom. That precious gift is maintained by the men and women who serve, have served and will serve in the nation's military. They put their lives on the line on a daily basis to fight for that freedom and to protect the nation that offers it. And in the process, they have also made it possible for people in countries around the world.

That is why they are heroes. That is why we should fly our flags and pause every once in a while to be proud of who we are as a country and as a people.

And as we watch the flag wave, tear up as we hear our national anthem or think back to all the sacrifices that have gotten us here, we can add one more thought.

We can thank a veteran.

Published in Editorials on November 12, 2012 10:41 AM