11/10/13 — Our mission: Serviceman's request is the least we can do -- Monday and always

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Our mission: Serviceman's request is the least we can do -- Monday and always

It was a simple request.


Senior Airman Justin Beasley did not want a bunch of fanfare for receiving the Purple Heart. He really did not want the attention either.

He just asked that we remember the men and women who are still serving overseas, still fighting for us, still risking their lives.

And it is not too much to ask. Not today, less than 24 hours before the national day that honors those who are serving and who have served their country.

And not any day in a town where we hear the sounds and the stories of men and women fighting for our freedom every day.

It is our duty to thank them. It is our duty to spread the word about how lucky we are to have them to places where serving your country seems to be something to sneer at.

It is our duty to remember.

So we will. Today, tomorrow and no matter what others might say.

And we will continue to care for the families of those who are putting their lives at risk to protect us.

That has always been this community's way -- and we need to make sure it stays that way.

There are many people who will not work this Veterans Day. And while they might fly a flag, they won't really think about what the day really means.

And they should. We all should.

There will be a parade downtown tomorrow. It won't last long, but to be there will mean something to the men and women it honors.

Come pay tribute. Even if it is only to wave hello or to place your hand on your heart when the national anthem is played.

If you see an airman out Monday, say thank you then, too. And if you are in a restaurant or a coffee shop, pick up the check.

It is how we can show that we will keep our promise to Senior Airman Beasley -- that we will remember.

We will remember that freedom isn't free -- and that thousands have lost their lives protecting us.

We will remember that families serve as well -- that we need to be there for them as they wait anxiously for news from their hero.

We need to honor those who have served their country by honoring them and taking care of them -- as they cared for their country.

And we need to make sure the next generation understands just what it means to be a hero -- and how many of them we have and have had in the nation's military.

That's how we mark Veterans Day.

And that is how we do our duty.

Published in Editorials on November 10, 2013 12:29 AM