Today, thank a veteran

Published 9:51 pm Tuesday, November 10, 2015

With fighting men and women from America serving all around the world today, civilians back at home have a chance today to honor them and their comrades in arms for the sacrifices they made to keep us free and to spread liberty across the globe.

On Memorial Day in May, Americans pay homage to the men and women who “gave the last full measure of devotion,” as President Abraham Lincoln put it in the Gettysburg Address.

Veterans Day, though, is different. On Veterans Day, Americans are urged to remember that serving in our nation’s armed forces represents a sacrifice for all who do so, whether in war or at peace. Originally set as a time to remember the end of World War I, it got its current name and focus in 1954, after World War II and the Korean Conflict proved that American men and women would continue to sacrifice the safety and comfort of home to fight in faraway places to advance the ideal of liberty.

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While it is vital that we never forget those who gave their lives in defense of freedom and democracy, we also should never lose sight of the debt of gratitude we owe to the heroes whose service to our nation involved the ultimate risk, if not the ultimate sacrifice.

Look for a veteran today, and when you find one, take a minute to shake his or her hand and say “Thank you.” It’s the least we can do for those who were willing to give the most they could give.