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Thank, care for veterans year-round

While we should always be thanking those who have served every chance we get, Veterans Day is the perfect opportunity to show them the kindness and gratitude they deserve for their service.

The federal holiday began on Nov. 11, 1919, to celebrate the first anniversary of the end of the first World War, and it was known as Armistice Day. While the date still remains the same, President Dwight D. Eisenhower changed the name in 1954 to celebrate all veterans in the country.

Celebrating the federal holiday comes naturally to Suffolk. Albert G. Horton Jr. spent the end of his life fighting to make sure veterans had an accessible place to be laid to rest in Western Tidewater, and it is still a place to go to thank those that have served.

On Friday, people went to Albert G. Horton Jr. Memorial Veterans Cemetery to celebrate just a few days early. Each gravesite, including the columbariums, received a single American flag for each veteran.

On Monday, the observed date, the cemetery will be open to all so family and friends can visit the gravesites of their loved ones. It gives them a chance to reflect on the service of their loved ones.

Veterans do something not everyone can do or will ever want to do — have the courage to risk their lives for our country.

That is something worth celebrating.

It’s important to remember that veterans should be celebrated for more than just one day of the year. There are still homeless veterans and veterans who struggle with mental and physical issues, and those that do need help more than just one day a year.

According to the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs, on any given night in January, more than 37,800 veterans were experiencing homelessness.

Take time to celebrate the veterans in your life, but remember to take the time to help and celebrate the veterans who are struggling every other day of the year.