Happy Veterans Day!
Posted By: Aaron Sims
“For it has been said so truthfully that it is the soldier, not the reporter, who has given us the freedom of the press. It is the soldier, not the poet, who has given us freedom of speech. It is the soldier, not the agitator, who has given us the freedom to protest. It is the soldier who salutes the flag, serves beneath the flag, whose coffin is draped by the flag, who gives that protester the freedom to abuse and burn that flag.” - Zell Miller
Tomorrow is Veteran’s Day. It’s a day that has been set aside to give thanks to those that have served this country.
“As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words, but to live by them.” - President John F. Kennedy
I remember the night of Sept. 11, 2001 I went to dinner with a couple friends. It struck me how odd it was that we were out at a restaurant almost as if it wasn’t a day that would change the way we all live. I wondered if people in countries and communities where fighting occurs much more frequently did the same thing. I have to admit, I felt a little guilty.
About five years ago, the Admirals were flying back from a game in Omaha against the old Ak-sar-ben Knights. I was privileged to sit next to a retired Army colonel. I told him about my dinner on 9/11 and explained that I felt strange. I’ll never forget what he told me. He said I shouldn’t feel guilty because that’s what the military was there for: preserving our lifestyle and freedoms. In a way, with us carrying on with our lives, we were thanking and saluting our men and women.
I’m sure all of you have someone close that has served this country. I do. Whether they saw battle or not, they all did their part in making sure our freedoms have been, and will be, preserved.
Wars aren’t popular, clearly. Whether it’s now or hundreds of years ago, everyone has an opinion on whether the United States should be involved in any battle. Parents have never liked losing their children in battle. Many of us are uncomfortable when we get involved in an area where maybe we think we don’t belong. It’s rare that the Commander in Chief has everyone on his side in a time of war, whether Democrat or Republican.
“It is easy to take liberty for granted, when you have never had it taken from you.” – Unknown author
Soldiers are doing a hard job. Over the course of history, many volunteered for this work so we don’t have to be exposed to it. We’ve lost many and for that we should be saddened, yet thankful for their sacrifice.
We should be overjoyed that others made it back. We should be so grateful that more and more are coming home.
A way we could, nay SHOULD, be thanking them that return is to make sure they get the support and help they need. Everyone deserves to keep and celebrate their dignity. The men and women that have helped us deserve our help. We need to recognize the potential problems. Psychiatric and other medical care needs to be provided. Marriage counseling may be necessary as it can be difficult for spouses to reconnect when they’ve been apart for such a length of time.
As one grows older, one starts to realize who the real heroes are. We have a large group of men and women that are doing a job that may not be the most popular. It’s hard to fully understand, at times, why certain decisions are made. Still, these folks are literally battling for an idea that we can one day live in peace.
Mark Twain remembered the lonely sacrifice of soldiers thusly: “In the beginning of a change, the patriot is a scarce man, and brave, and hated and scorned. When his cause succeeds, the timid join him, for then it costs nothing to be a patriot.”
“Whether we belonged over there or not
Somebody over here loves them and needs them”
Thank you to all of our veterans and active military personnel. For those of you that are here, welcome home. For those of you overseas, we pray for your safe return.