It’s something that we can’t do often enough – say thank you to the men and women who have donned the uniforms of the United States armed forces to serve this country, putting their lives on the line in the process.
On Veteran’s Day, November 11, it’s an obligation. As the men and women who have defended this country as members of the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marines march down Fifth Avenue in what is known as America’s Parade, we should all take the time to admire them, salute them, and let them know that we all know how important their contribution was, and continues to be.
Many of the veterans participating in the parade have served on the front lines – in World War II, the Korean War, the Vietnam War, or the recent conflicts in the Mideast – Operation Desert Storm, and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan – which were fought by an all-volunteer military.
All of them and their brothers and sisters in uniform, today and in the past, willingly put their lives in danger for all of us.
Sadly, over the course of history, many of those who have fought on the front lines have not come back. Quiet cemeteries lined with rows of marble monuments in locations such as Normandy and Tunisia, Belgium and Italy, where American forces fought and died, stand as silent monuments to their heroism.
Also, sadly, many of those who fought on our behalf have been grievously wounded. Giving the devastating capabilities of modern weaponry, too many of America’s veterans are today recovering from severe injuries in military hospitals or are reintegrating into daily life after being physically or emotionally damaged by their service at the front.
We owe them gratitude, as well as the commitment to make sure that we are supporting them during their road to recovery, whatever that may take.
It’s the very least we can do, on Veteran’s Day and every day.