Veterans Day: Honor and aid those who served

On the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month, 102 years ago, an armistice stopped World War I — the “war to end all wars” was over.

More than a century later, we Americans know that hope was short-lived, and that generations of men and women have continued to be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for their country in wars ranging from World War II to present-day Afghanistan. We owe them everything.

It is important to remember, then, that in showing our gratitude, Congress made the Veterans Day holiday official by saying Nov. 11 “should be commemorated with thanksgiving and prayer and exercises designed to perpetuate peace through good will and mutual understanding between nations.”

We know today there are too many veterans for whom gratitude and good will fall short when they are relying on the rest of us to fulfill the promises made to them when they said they would give their lives for this country. And we know that in an era when a deadly virus is keeping us from the parades and celebrations we might normally have — and keeping many of our veterans isolated — it is essential for us to find concrete ways to show these brave men and women we remember what they have done for us. We remember THEM.

If you have a chance today, say thank you to a veteran. Listen to them, if they want to tell their stories. If you know of resources available to them, show them how to get the help they deserve. If you know a veteran in crisis, guide them toward the Department of Veterans Affairs Veterans Crisis Line: 1-800-273-8255.

These are difficult times. But we have so much for which to be grateful, and these men and women are the reason.

You are not forgotten, folks. Thank you.


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