Thank You, Veterans !
Veteran's Day is the annual occasion when we honor our U.S.A. armed forces for their dedication to preserving our freedoms, sometimes risking their lives. Some other countries recognize their veterans with the Nov. 11th date named Armistice Day, as originally designated at the conclusion of World War I. (See archives for the Nov. 11, 2006 post.)
Many Americans, including some of my family members, were veterans of WWI which was centered in Europe. The horrific consequences of the weapons used, including destructive bombs and effects of chemicals/gas led many people to believe war would never again occur.
Then years later, the unthinkable happened when the U.S.A.'s military troops were directly assaulted in Hawaii. World War II escalated until most people everywhere were eventually embroiled in some way. Many in our country had family members who volunteered to serve as did mine. Everyone was convinced at the climax of this nightmarish conflagration and holocaust, that this was the war that ended all wars, that genocide would never again happen. How mistaken we were.
I do believe that the sacrifices made by our armed forces during WWII are directly responsible for the fact our country continued to exist as the free democracy/republic our constitution's creators intended. For this reason I accord special tribute to those WWII surviving veterans whose numbers diminish daily, as well as to those who live only in spirit now.
The wars did not end, though we sometimes sidestep use of the word, "war." So it was that we engaged in a "Police Action" in Korea. Those who died, the maimed, the survivors might well attest that the actions during that confrontation seemed quite identical to those of war.
The next major bloody action in which lives were forever altered occurred in Viet Nam. So many lives were lost, others survived with many becoming "walking wounded." Our servicemen and women have been asked to serve in various locations around the world in peace-keeping efforts since then. They have exposed themselves to death's potential and some have made that final sacrifice representing our nation.
Even now, as I write this, our country has increased veterans numbers by embroiling them in war in Afghanistan and Iraq with all the tragedy that entails. Whatever is each individuals view of this latest war, I honor those who have had to fulfill their military commitment in the manner of veterans before them.
All veterans, in the U.S.A. and around the world, have made sacrifices in the name of their country. Some have given their lives, others have survived, some with remaining injuries of outward physical and/or mental change, some with inner wounds invisible to the eye.
I believe as a nation our people should be insistent that our veterans receive not only initial optimum timely medical care, but continued long term therapeutic interventions needed to maximize their quality of life. I am greatly distressed whenever I become aware veterans have not received the highest level of care as media and government reports have revealed this past year.
I fervently urge our legislators and government to ensure all our veterans receive the medical care promised them and of which they are so deserving. The very least each of us can do is to lobby our government on our veterans behalf, insisting on this medical care and the immediate correction of any problems associated with its provision.
We also honor our veterans when we acquaint ourselves with local, state, national and international issues that affect all our lives, then express our views by voting on election days. Our veterans have offered their lives so that we can enjoy freedom. In return, our responsibility is to vote in elections, a small act compared to the actions we've required of our veterans.
Thank you, again, veterans !