Veterans have earned respectPosted Wednesday, November 12, 2008, at 10:14 AM
Veteran's Day is very special to the people of this community.
It is a time to honor all those who have served, not just those who have fallen.
Those who have not served, either in uniform, or as part of a military family, really don't understand what it means. They don't understand the sacrifices of the military family, the long separations, and yes, the fear that comes with having a father or mother deployed into a war zone.
For the sixth year in a row this Veteran's Day takes place during a time of war -- two of them, in fact.
The wars may have been pushed to the back pages due to the recent elections and economic crisis in the country, but they remain at the forefront of the thoughts of any military families.
Our casualties are low, only a dozen or so a month killed these days, but each one of those casualties is the most important event in the world to the families involved -- each one a new flag in what has become a sea of flags flying silently over nearly 5,000 newly dug graves across this country.
Yet each represents a sacrifice for honorable ideals.
The small flags that decorate the graves at Mountain View Cemetery honor veterans from the Civil War to today, and across this country can be found even older monuments to the sacrifices for liberty that our veterans have been called upon to perform.
Not all of today's veterans have seen combat. Yet each was an instrumental part in the machinery and institutions of the American military that has consistently advanced the cause of freedom around the world.
We can argue forever about the worth of the wars we are fighting now, or some we have fought in the past. The decision to go to war is a political one.
But once the decision is made, throughout our nation's history, our best and bravest have answered the call to go forward and engage the enemy on battlefields throughout the world. And they have been able to do so in the belief that this nation asks nothing more and nothing less of them than to make other men free.
That is a noble calling, and one which most of them would say has been worth the sacrifices they and their families have made.
This nation cannot do enough to honor its veterans. They have paid the price in the day to day sacrifices that come with military life, and in the friends and comrades that fell beside on the field of battle.
We can do no less than to give them our respect. They have earned it.
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