Wednesday, November 11, 2009

An editorial...

On the eleventh hour, of the eleventh day, of the eleventh month of 1918, the terrible slaughter of the First World War came to a formal conclusion. The day we now commemorate as Veterans Day is the quintessential American holiday, growing to honor all of America’s veterans at the urging of a shoe store owner in Kansas. In the almost 100 years since an assassin's bullet took the Archduke Ferdinand on a bridge in Sarajevo, the US military as proven to be an elite fighting machine. In Europe, Korea, Viet Nam, Afghanistan, Iraq and more, our soldiers demonstrate their greatness. But when the fighting is over, we Americans close that door and move on, often forgetting about those brave men and women that fought on our behalf. It isn't that we are no longer proud, it is that our lives move on... and isn't that the ideal end to the fighting? Isn't that what they are fighting for? That we all go on and live in peace, forgetting the violence, the atrocities, the pain, and the suffering. Isn't that the conclusion that our soldiers are working toward when they build the schools and the hospitals? When they re-build the bridges and carry in supplies? Perhaps what makes our military the greatest on earth is not only what they destroy, but what they build. And they make us forget, and cause us to move on.

Today, many of us will remember the fallen at Fort Hood and wonder how this could have happened on American soil. Some will debate whether it was an act of terrorism and the dead and wounded will be called "victims." But I believe that they are casualties of war, the same as those that lost their life in Iraq or Afghanistan. And during that gun fight, Sergeant Kimberly Munley became a member of our military and became a veteran, entering into a war zone. (Thank you Kimberly for your service)

Today, the same as in 1775 when the forefathers of our nation established our Marine Corps, we need a strong and dedicated military. We need to support and remember them, even in times of peace when it is easy to forget. If we do not back them, support them, and honor them, we may all be called upon, like Sgt. Munley, to BECOME one of them and fight for our rights here, on our own soil.

Especially today, thank our veterans. Share a word, a hug, a thought, a prayer. If you feel so inclined, donate or volunteer for one of the many veterans organizations that help them. But at least one day a year, do not forget-REMEMBER.

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