November 9, 2011 – State Senator Will Kraus: Guest Column – Using the word “celebrate” in relation to Veterans Day has seemed a stretch to me. When we think of celebrating, we think of gathering in joy and in happiness of the occasion. We often think of potlucks and barbecues, and of crowds of family and friends. In many minds, the Veterans Day holiday is, instead, a time for reflection, for stoic honor, and for thanks.
But this year, as both a veteran myself, and as the father of a current serviceman, I believe that celebrating Veterans Day is exactly the right thing to do. This country’s veterans have steadfastly stood as the barrier between the rights and freedoms that have made this nation great and those that would trample those same freedoms underfoot. We can celebrate Veterans Day in a dozen small ways; participating in or watching a parade, visiting a veterans’ memorial, taking the time to shake the hand of a veteran, or even simply saying thank you to a person that took time out of their lives and away from their families to defend our daily lives.
I have said this before, and I’m certain I will again: please take a few moments out of this holiday to honor our veterans, our past servicemen and women. Their efforts have helped preserve the freedoms we enjoy, and we should not let them feel as if we might not appreciate that fact.
As well, think about making the time to recognize those brave men and women who continue to carry the mantle of our freedoms today. Around the world, these brave people still stand firm in their resolve to protect and defend our homes and our way of life.
To the members of the military of yesterday, today, and tomorrow: thank you for your sacrifices.
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